Gold prices rise, keep record highs in sight ahead of inflation, Fed cues

Investing.com-- Gold prices rose slightly in Asian trade on Tuesday, remaining in sight of record highs as safe haven demand for the yellow metal remained upbeat in anticipation of more cues on U.S. inflation and interest rates.

The yellow metal surged to record highs above $2,350 an ounce on Monday, but came down slightly from those levels as the dollar and Treasury yields remained strong. Safe haven demand for gold also remained strong amid worsening geopolitical conditions in the Middle East and Russia.

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $2,344.31 an ounce, while gold futures expiring in June rose 0.5% to $2,363.0 an ounce by 01:00 ET (05:00 GMT). Spot gold hit a record high of $2,354.09 an ounce on Monday.

CPI inflation, Fed minutes in focus 

Markets were now focused squarely on consumer price index inflation data for March, which is due on Wednesday. 

The reading is expected to show U.S. inflation remaining sticky, and also comes just days after a blowout nonfarm payrolls report. Traders had severely cut their expectations for a June rate cut by the Fed in recent sessions. 

Beyond the CPI data, the minutes of the Fed’s March meeting are also due on Wednesday. While the bank had offered up some dovish signals on interest rate cuts during the meeting, a string of Fed officials speaking after the meeting warned that sticky inflation will delay any potential rate cuts this year.

Such a scenario bodes poorly for gold. But the yellow metal still benefited from increased safe haven demand.

Middle East, Russia-Ukraine tensions buoy gold prices

Fears of worsening geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, especially after Iran threatened military action against Israel, kept safe haven demand for gold largely upbeat. 

Continued clashes between Russia and Ukraine also factored into safe haven demand, with recent strikes on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant causing global alarm.

Other precious metals also advanced, with platinum futures rising 1.4% to $990.35 an ounce, while silver futures rose 0.5% to $27.950 an ounce. 

Copper prices fall but remain close to 15-mth peaks 

Among industrial metals, copper prices fell slightly on Tuesday but remained close to 15-month peaks hit last week. 

Three-month copper futures on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.4% to $9,407.50 a ton, while one-month U.S. copper futures fell 0.5% to $4.2717 a pound.

Focus this week was on more economic signals from top importer China, with inflation and trade readings due later in the week.

Signs of tighter copper supplies- after top refiners in China announced production cuts- were a key driver of copper’s recent rally. Optimism over Chinese demand was also aided by positive purchasing managers index data from the country.

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