Gold bars at Solar Capital Gold Zrt. in Budapest, Hungary on March 10, 2016.
Akos Stiller | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Gold edged higher on Friday after stagnant U.S. consumer spending tempered bets for early monetary policy tightening by the Federal Reserve, setting bullion on track for its first weekly gain in four.
“Gold has benefited from the lower-than-expected inflation print as concerns at the margin have eased over a sooner-than-expected timetable for tapering,” said Suki Cooper, an analyst at Standard Chartered.
The $1,770 per ounce level is a support in the near term, Cooper said, with resistance at the 100-day moving average.
Data earlier showed the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, was below expectations in May. The data initially weighed on the dollar, but the currency has since steadied, slowing gold’s advance.
“The market is taking a more sanguine view of the inflation prospects, tempering earlier expectations that inflation was going to more quickly become problematic,” said Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff.
Gold prices posted sharp losses last week after the Fed projected rate increases as soon as 2023, prompting a sell-off of non-yielding bullion.
Although prices have stabilized since then, bullion is still on shaky ground given mixed signals from the Fed, analysts said.
Two Fed officials warned on Thursday that inflation could rise more than policymakers expected in the near term. They spoke after Fed chief Jerome Powell said inflation would not be the only factor determining interest rate decisions.
“Importantly, from a technical perspective we have formed a bearish pattern on the gold chart that suggests maybe some downside selling pressure next week after this week’s pause,” Wyckoff said.