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Gold: Gold sags as investors buckle up for US inflation test

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Gold prices hovered near one-month lows on Thursday, as investors braced for the make-or-break US inflation data that would shape the Federal Reserve‘s upcoming interest rate decisions.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was steady at $1,916.19 per ounce by 0123 GMT, a few dollars away from its lowest level since July 10 hit on Wednesday. US gold futures were down 0.1% at$1,948.90.

* China’s consumer sector fell into deflation in July as it struggled to revive demand and pressure mounted on Beijing to release more direct policy stimulus.

* US consumer price index (CPI) data, due later in the day, is expected to show inflation slightly accelerated in July.

* Gold is considered a hedge against inflation, but rate hikes raise the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

* US Treasury yields will fall in coming months despite clear signs the Fed is reluctant to consider rate cuts any time soon, according to bond strategists polled by Reuters who said the 10-year yield would not revisit its cycle peak. * The average US 30-year mortgage rate jumped to a nine-month peak on Wednesday and hit the second-highest rate since 2001, as interest rates reacted sharply to a downgrading of US government debt.

* President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order that will prohibit some new US investment in China in sensitive technologies like computer chips and require government notification in other tech sectors, a move that could renew tensions between the world’s biggest economies.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, on Wednesday said its holdings fell to the lowest level since March at 903.38 tons. [GOL/ETF]

* Other precious metals were mostly flat, with spot silver trading near $22.67 an ounce, platinum at $888.11 and palladium around $1,234.90.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

1230 US Core CPI MM, SA July

1230 US Core CPI YY, NSA July

1230 US CPI MM, SA July

1230 US CPI YY, NSA July

1230 US CPI Wage Earner July

1230 US Initial Jobless Clm Weekly

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