Gold set for monthly gain on economic woes, Fed meet eyed

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Gold set for monthly gain on economic woes, Fed meet eyed

Bars of gold are seen at the Krastsvetmet company, one of the world's largest producers of precious metals in Moscow, Russia on January 31, 2023.

Gold prices were poised for a second monthly gain on Friday as lingering economic concerns drove investors to the safe-haven asset, while markets turned their focus to the Federal Reserve's meeting due next month.

Spot gold edged 0.2% lower to $1,983.89 per ounce by 0702 GMT, but was up about 1% for the month. U.S. gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,995.30.

Taking some shine off gold on the day, rival dollar , edged up, but was set for a monthly decline. A softer dollar makes gold more attractive for other currency holders.

Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities said there was likely to be some continued caution among gold buyers as the battle to stay above $2,000 and break into a new era continued to rage, going into the Fed meeting.

"(But) from a safe-haven perspective, gold has been on the rise in recent times," Bennett said, adding U.S. GDP slowed sharply and challenges persist for global economies.

Bullion scaled more than a year's peak at $2,048.71 in mid-April as the banking crisis unfolded.

However, immediate support for gold seems to come in at $1,980, Ilya Spivak, head of global macro at Tastylive, said.

Recent softer data outcomes have not altered the baseline outlook for Fed policy being priced into financial markets, she added.

The central bank is expected to raise the interest rate by 25 basis points (bps); higher rates tend to dull the zero-yielding bullion's appeal.

Meanwhile U.S. economic growth slowed more than expected in the first quarter, and the Fed's emergency lending to banks rose modestly in the latest week, even as many central bankers argue the worst of the banking sector's latest stresses are waning.

Investors now await the core Personal Consumption Expenditures index data for March due at 1230 GMT.

Elsewhere, spot silver fell 0.2% to $24.92, platinum shed 0.5% to $1,071.71, while palladium added 0.3% to $1,499.35 -- all headed for monthly gain.

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