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Gold stalls for more Fed rate hike cues

Kitco News

Jan 13 (Reuters) - Gold prices held a tight range on Thursday as investors waited for more economic cues and clarity on the Federal Reserve's interest rate hike trajectory, but a retreat in the dollar kept bullion close to a one-week peak hit in the last session.

Spot gold had fallen 0.1% to $1,822.90 per ounce by 1254 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,825.10.

But prices were still close to their highest since Jan. 5, at $1,827.92, touched on Tuesday after data showing U.S. inflation was within expectations dented the dollar and prompted buying from investors who seemed to have priced in the Federal Reserve's likely interest rate hike trajectory.

"Gold's performance is in a way slightly disappointing, bearing in mind the pretty seismic collapse in the U.S. dollar ... gold might have performed as one would expect it to, but hasn't gotten to the big $1,835 per ounce figure, considering the inflation data," said Ross Norman, an independent analyst.

The dollar index (.DXY) touched a fresh two-month low, making gold more appealing for overseas buyers.

But although inflation is likely to remain elevated, it is expected to cool to some extent and yields may go higher as well, and that could be "quite a negative force on the prices of gold," Natixis analyst Bernard Dahdah said.

U.S. consumer prices surged in December, with the annual increase in inflation the largest in nearly four decades, cementing expectations the Fed will start raising interest rates as early as March. read more

While gold is considered an inflationary hedge, a hike in U.S. interest rates make non-interest bearing bullion less appealing.

Spot silver rose 0.3% to $23.18 an ounce, platinum fell 0.2% to $974.95, and palladium fell 0.7% to $1,897.17.

Reporting by Seher Dareen and Swati Verma in Bengaluru. Editing by Janen Merriman, Kirsten Donovan
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