Gold steady, copper slides as markets digest mixed CPI reading

  • Commodities News
Gold steady, copper slides as markets digest mixed CPI reading -- Gold prices steadied in early trade on Thursday, while copper prices nursed steep losses as data showed that U.S. inflation eased slightly in April but remained relatively sticky, pointing to a potentially hawkish outlook from the Federal Reserve.

U.S. consumer price index inflation grew at a slightly slower-than-expected annual pace through April, but remained well above the Fed’s annual target range. Inflation also increased as expected on a monthly basis , indicating that price pressures still remained elevated in the country.

Gold showed a muted reaction to the data, as investors bet that U.S. interest rates will remain higher for longer. But the prospect of an economic slowdown in the country kept the yellow metal pinned above $2,000, amid steady safe haven demand.

Markets are also pricing in an almost 100% chance that the Fed is done raising interest rates, with Fed Fund futures prices pointing to a pause in June. But the sticky inflation data showed traders paring their expectations for any rate cuts this year.

Spot gold rose 0.1% to $2,032.11 an ounce, while gold futures rose 0.1% to $2,038.40 an ounce by 20:08 ET (00:08 GMT).

While the prospect of U.S. rates remaining higher for longer bodes poorly for gold and other non-yielding assets, the yellow metal still stands to benefit from increased safe haven demand, as high rates and relatively high inflation point to worsening economic conditions this year.

Other precious metals were also largely steady on Thursday, with platinum and silver futures moving less than 0.1% in either direction.

The dollar fell sharply after the inflation data, as did U.S. Treasury yields .

But the prospect of an economic slowdown weighed heavily on copper prices, which sank 1.7% after Wednesday’s CPI reading before steadying somewhat.

Copper futures rose 0.1% to $3.8518 a pound, and were trading just above their weakest level in four months.

Signs of laggard economic growth in China also battered the red metal this week, as trade data showed that Chinese imports sank more than expected through April. Commodity demand in the world’s largest copper importer remained weak despite the lifting of anti-COVID measures, as the country’s vast manufacturing sector struggled with slowing demand.

Focus is now on Chinese inflation data , due later on Thursday, for more cues on the world’s second-largest economy.

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