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Gold prices retreat from record highs with CPI data in focus

Investing.com-- Gold prices fell in Asian trade on Tuesday, retreating from record highs as traders lock-in some profits ahead of key U.S. inflation data that is widely expected to factor into the path of interest rates.

Growing bets on interest rate cuts by as soon as June, coupled with increased safe haven demand, saw bullion prices surge to new record highs in March, with spot prices coming close to breaching $2,200 an ounce.

But this rally cooled in recent sessions, especially after somewhat hawkish signals from the Federal Reserve and mixed labor market data. The dollar steadied from recent losses, also pressuring metal markets.

Spot gold fell 0.2% to $2,178.43 an ounce, while gold futures expiring in April fell 0.2% to $2,184.65 an ounce by 01:24 ET (05:24 GMT). Both instruments were trading about $15 below record highs hit last week. 

CPI data awaited for rate cut cues 

Focus was now squarely on key U.S. consumer price index (CPI) data, due later on Tuesday, for more cues on the potential path of interest rates. 

The reading is expected to show inflation remained sticky in February, and well above the Fed’s 2% annual target. 

The inflation reading will also be in close focus after a slew of Fed officials- most notably Fed Chair Jerome Powell- said that the timing and scale of any rate cuts this year will be closely tied to the path of inflation. 

The inflation data is also expected to offer more direction to markets after largely mixed signals from nonfarm payrolls data last week.

Gold is expected to benefit from any major reductions in interest rates this year- a notion which has been a key driver of the yellow metal’s rally in recent sessions.

Other precious metals fell on Tuesday after also clocking strong gains in recent sessions. Platinum futures fell 0.5% to $938.0 an ounce, while silver futures fell 0.1% to $24.685 an ounce. 

Copper sits on some gains amid China hopes 

Among industrial metals, copper prices fell on Tuesday, but were sitting on some gains over the past week amid some hopes for more stimulus measures in top importer China.

Copper futures expiring in May fell 0.3% to $3.9218 a pound, after rising about 0.8% last week.

Positive import data from China also showed that demand remained steady in the country despite broadly weak economic conditions. 


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