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Gold Price Tumbles on Latest US CPI Reading

The gold price has been trading near record highs for the last couple of weeks, but it dipped on Tuesday (March 12) after the release of the latest US Consumer Price Index (CPI) data.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ CPI report shows that inflation increased by 3.2 percent year-on-year in February, dampening expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates in June.

The yellow metal fell as low as US$2,153.61 per ounce on Tuesday after starting the week at the US$2,180 level.

Tai Wong, a New York-based independent metals trader, said in an interview with Reuters that market participants will now shift their focus to the Fed’s next meeting, which is scheduled to run next week from March 19 to 20.

“CPI comes in a bit sweaty but the market was expecting a high print so the initial reaction was a bit muted but prices have been volatile since,’ he said. ‘Now focus will shift to next week’s Fed meeting where there will be an updated dot plot.’ The dot plot shows where each Fed official thinks the federal funds rate is headed.

In comparison to the January figure, core CPI, which excludes the more volatile food and energy categories, saw a 0.4 percent increase, surpassing the 0.3 percent rise expected by market watchers.

On an annual basis, core CPI moderated from 3.9 percent in January to 3.8 percent in February, falling short of the projected 3.7 percent. Notably, core CPI reached its highest point in 40 years at 6.6 percent in September 2022.

Odds are low that the Fed will cut interest rates at its March and April/May meetings, and the probability of a reduction in June currently sits at 70 percent. Rates are currently set at the 5.25 to 5.5 percent range.

Gold tends to fare better when rates are low, and the Fed’s projected cuts are expected to further boost its price. That’s because lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding bullion, which yields no interest.

Securities Disclosure: I, Giann Liguid, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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