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Gold ticks higher than dollar eases; cenbank rate moves in focus

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Gold prices inched higher on Thursday as the dollar eased, while investors grappled with the likelihood of more interest rate hikes by top central banks to contain inflationary pressures.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,995.54 per ounce, as of 0059 GMT, after hitting a more than two-week low on Wednesday. US gold futures were flat at $2,007.50.

* The dollar index was slightly lower, making gold less expensive for overseas buyers.

* New York Fed President John Williams said on Wednesday that inflation is still at problematic levels and the US central bank will act to lower it, adding that recent stress in the banking sector would likely weigh on economic activity.

* The CME FedWatch tool shows that markets are pricing in an 83.3% chance of a 25 basis-point hike in May.

* Gold is considered a hedge against inflation but higher interest rates dim the non-yielding asset’s appeal. * The Fed will deliver a final 25-basis-point rate increase in May and then hold rates steady for the rest of 2023, according to economists in a Reuters poll, which also showed a short and shallow recession this year was likely.

* Britain’s consumer price inflation fell less than expected in March, while Euro zone inflation eased last month but underlying readings remained stubbornly high. The reports bolstered expectations for more rate hikes from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.

* Spot silver was up 0.1% at $25.28 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.4% to $1,086.01 and palladium dipped 0.7% to $1,605.20.

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