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Gold prices range-bound as traders measure Fed policy path.

Gold prices held steady on Thursday, supported by a pullback in the dollar, although prices moved in a tight range as investors gauged the Federal Reserve’s interest rate outlook following a critical vote on the U.S. debt ceiling.

Spot gold held its ground at $1,963.19 per ounce. U.S. gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,980.20. Bullion registered a monthly fall in May.

The dollar index eased from its highest in more than two months, making bullion less expensive for overseas buyers.

Investors gave a muted welcome to the U.S. House of Representatives passing a bill, which would suspend the government’s borrowing limit and avert default, with market focus now turning to the Senate and the interest rate outlook.

In the short term, gold could trade higher near the $1,980 level, but don’t expect an extreme move upside because markets are still speculating more rate hikes by the Fed, said Brian Lan, of Singapore dealer GoldSilver Central.

On the downside, it has support at $1,955, and remains influenced by the movement of the dollar, he added.

Meanwhile, U.S. job openings unexpectedly rose in April and data for the prior month was revised higher, pointing to persistent strength in the labor market that could compel the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates again in June.

Federal Reserve officials including the vice chair-designate, however, pointed towards a rate hike “skip” in June, prompting a quick reversal of market expectations for another hike as the U.S. central bank weighed the value of caution against still strong inflation data.

Higher interest rates dull the appeal for zero-yield bullion.

On the data front, investors will now scan the weekly initial jobless claims, and other economic figures.

Source: CNBC



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