Gold flat as dollar hits nearly 2-week highs

Gold prices edged lower on Tuesday, pressured by a rebound in the dollar, after U.S. job openings topped forecasts, pointing to an improving labor market, lifting expectations the Federal Reserve will keep to its plan to raise rates at least once more this year.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $3.04, or 0.23%, to $1,261.74 a troy ounce.

Gold struggled to hold onto gains, as the dollar hit a nearly two-week high, after U.S. job openings, a measure of labor demand, increased 461,000 to a seasonally adjusted 6.2 million, the highest level since the series started in December 2000, the Labor Department said on Tuesday.

Losses in the precious metal were limited, however, as some Fed members suggested that the slowdown in inflation will continue to weigh on the Fed’s ability to raise rates even if the U.S. job market continues to improve.

“The current level of the policy rate is likely to remain appropriate over the near term,” Bullard said on Monday.

The producer price index and the consumer price index data due Thursday and Friday, is expected to provide market participants with fresh insight into the pace of inflation.

The slowdown in inflation, has weighed on the prospect of rate hikes later this year, pressuring both the dollar and bond yields while boosting demand for the precious metal.

Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Other precious metal shrugged off dollar strength, as silver futures rose 0.90% to $16.397 while platinum futures rose by 0.30% to $974.60.

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