Gold steadies near 9-month peak with spotlight on U.S. data

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Gold prices hit a nine-month high on Thursday before trading steady, as investors braced for U.S. economic data that could influence the Federal Reserve’s policy tightening path.

FUNDAMENTALS

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* Spot gold was flat at $1,946.73 per ounce, as of 0040 GMT, after hitting its highest since April 2022.

* U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,947.20.

* Market attention turns to the fourth-quarter U.S. GDP data due at 1330 GMT, which could set the tone for the Fed’s upcoming policy meeting.

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* Most investors are expecting the Fed to raise rates by 25 basis points (bps) at its Jan. 31-Feb. 1 policy meeting. The U.S. central bank slowed its tightening pace to 50 bps last month after four straight 75-bp hikes.

* Lower interest rates tend to be beneficial for bullion as they decrease the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding asset.

* European Central Bank policymakers Joachim Nagel and Gabriel Makhlouf said on Wednesday they would not be surprised if interest rate increases continue into the second quarter after two expected moves in February and March.

* Russian gold and silver producer Polymetal said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter revenue jumped 30% year-on-year to $1 billion as it sold down metal and concentrate inventory.

* Spot silver was unchanged at $23.90 per ounce, platinum gained 0.3% to $1,042.63, and palladium fell 0.1% to $1,696.55.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

1330 US Durable Goods Dec

1330 US GDP Advance Q4

1330 US Initial Jobless Clm Weekly

1500 US New Home Sales-Units Dec (Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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