Gold was little changed on Tuesday as a firmer dollar offset support from bets that the Federal Reserve was unlikely to respond with immediate monetary tightening after U.S. consumer prices rose by the most in 13 years last month.
Spot gold was steady at $1,806.64 per ounce by 2:11 p.m. ET. U.S. gold futures settled up 0.2% at $1,809.90.
The closely-watched U.S. consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.9% last month, compared with a forecast for a 0.5% uptick by economists polled by Reuters.
But analysts said the data was unlikely to trigger a swift monetary policy tightening response from the Fed, providing some support to gold.
“It’s going to take a string of these hotter numbers on the inflation readings to move the needle for the Fed. One month’s reading is not going to do it,” said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst with Kitco Metals, adding that the Fed would also take employment and growth readings into account.
Still, markets will now eye Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday for any hints on the central bank’s monetary policy outlook.
“With the cost of transport also rising and oil prices remaining elevated, there is a risk that inflation could remain stubbornly high for longer than the Fed envisages,” said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst with ThinkMarkets.
“If the current trend for inflation continues, then surely the central bank will have to react and sooner,” he added.
The dollar index climbed 0.5% against its rivals, denting gold’s appeal to holders of other currencies.
Elsewhere, palladium eased 1% to $2,828.93 an ounce, while platinum fell 1.1% to $1,105.77.
Silver shed 0.8% to $25.97 an ounce.