04-04-2024 10:18 AM | Source: Reuters
Gold continues record rally after Fed comments; US data in focus

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Gold prices rallied to a record high on Thursday as Federal Reserve officials reiterated expectations of interest rate cuts in 2024, even if their timing was unclear, while traders await key U.S. jobs data.

Spot gold was steady at $2,299.28 per ounce, as of 0343 GMT, and hit a record high of $2,304.09 earlier in the session. Bullion has hit record highs in each session since last week's Thursday.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.2% to $2,318.70.

"What is driving the gold price is currencies globally depreciating against the U.S. dollar for a whole range of reasons ... people acquiring gold as basically a protection against local currency depreciation," Michael Langford, chief investment officer at Scorpion Minerals, said.

Federal Reserve officials including U.S. central bank chief Jerome Powell on Wednesday continued focusing on the need for more debate and data before interest rates are cut, a move financial markets expect to occur in June.

U.S. services industry growth slowed further in March, which bodes well for the inflation outlook. The U.S. jobs report for March is due to be released on Friday, with new inflation data coming next week.

"If non-farm payrolls meets expectations or is worse than expectations in terms of the job market being weaker, then this would be positive for the potential for an interest rate cut which would then be positive for gold," Langford added.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

Elsewhere, spot silver fell 0.5% to $27.08 per ounce, platinum edged down 0.1% to $935.39 and palladium was up 0.4% at $1.017.83.