Gold retreats as traders lock in profit before US data

Gold prices fell on Wednesday, retreating further from a near nine-month peak hit in the previous session, as some investors booked profit ahead of US economic data that could steer the Federal Reserve’s policy tightening path.
Spot gold slipped 0.3% to $1,931.04 per ounce by 0730 GMT, after hitting its highest since late April on Tuesday. US gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,933.50.
“Gold prices are lower primarily due to a technical correction after hitting highs; a steady dollar also weighed on sentiment,” said Hareesh V, head of commodity research at Geojit Financial Services.
Market focus is now on the fourth-quarter US GDP data due on Thursday, which could set the tone for the Fed’s Jan. 31-Feb. 1 policy meeting.
Gold could gain if there are signs that the US economy is slowing and the Fed will soon slow its tightening pace and cut interest rates, said Ilya Spivak, head of global macro at Tastylive.
“However, for prices to breach the $2,000 level, the US dollar has to continue weakening,” he said.
Most investors expect the Fed to raise rates by 25 basis points (bps) next week. The US central bank slowed its tightening pace to 50 bps last month after four straight 75-bp hikes.
With lower rates translating into lesser returns on interest-bearing assets like government bonds, investors may prefer zero-yield gold.
Gold may rise into the $1,956-$1,969 range, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Data showed on Tuesday Swiss exports of gold to countries including China, Turkey, Singapore and Thailand surged to multi-year highs in 2022.
Among other precious metals, silver dipped 0.4% to $23.58 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.1% to $1,057.75.
Palladium fell 0.3% to $1,737.63.

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