Gold prices inched higher on Friday as investors shrugged off concerns that stronger-than-expected consumer inflation in the United States could influence the US central bank’s decision on aggressive monetary policy easing.
Spot gold rose 0.7 per cent to $US1,412.88 per ounce, having touched $US1,413.41 earlier in the session.
Prices rose nearly one per cent during last week.
US gold futures settled 0.4 per cent up at $US1,412.20 per ounce.
“Inflation data came out a little bit hotter than expected. It seems every day that the probability of rate cut versus keeping rates unchanged is flip-flop. There are uncertainties around that,” said Phillip Streible, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures.
“If gold closes below $US1,400 level on a Friday, (it) could be a blow to the bulls. I see a resistance level of $US1,441 if there is enough demand for gold.”
The core US consumer price index, excluding food and energy, rose 0.3 per cent in June, data showed on Thursday, the largest increase since January 2018.
Bullion rates were quick to slump following the data, shedding nearly one per cent in the latter part of its session, with the US dollar erasing some losses.
However, the stronger-than-expected reading failed to shake convictions that the Fed will start cutting interest rates at a policy meeting later this month, with money markets still indicating one rate cut at the end of July and a cumulative 64 basis points in cuts by the end of 2019.
Against a basket of currencies, the US dollar was lower for a third straight day, down 0.1 per cent.
Lower interest rates may be needed to help lift inflation and bolster the Fed’s credibility in meeting an inflation target it has consistently underrun, Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles Evans said.
Fed policymakers are scheduled to meet on July 30-31, where investors will look for further cues on monetary policy easing.
In the physical market, gold buying stalled in top Asian hubs this week as consumers sold back bullion to cash in on the steep price rally.
A recent import duty hike further dented waning interest in an Indian market hit by a surge in local rates.
Among other precious metals, platinum rose 0.4 per cent to $US824 per ounce while palladium fell 1.1 per cent to $US1,544.25.
Silver rose 0.8 per cent to $US15.23 an ounce.
Palladium was set for its first weekly decline in six weeks, down 1.4 per cent in the week.