Gold Up Ahead Of U.S. Inflation Data

Gold was up on Friday morning in Asia as investors digested mixed signals from U.S. Federal Reserve officials on interest rate hikes earlier this week, while awaiting U.S. inflation data due later in the day.

Gold Futures inched up 0.06% to $1,777.70 by 12:27 AM ET (4:27 AM GMT). The dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, inched down on Friday but hovered below a two-month high of 92.408 reached in the previous week.

Two Fed officials predicted on Thursday that inflation could rise more than expected in the short term. However, other Fed policymakers said the U.S. economy is rebounding from the decline in 2020, but the labor market still needs to improve.

The U.S. economic growth "has come roaring back… but even as GDP has almost entirely recouped its losses from last year, employment remains down significantly," said Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker.

"We really need an economy that works for everyone," Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic added.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden reached a deal with a bipartisan group of senators to provide $579 billion in infrastructure investments, which boosted investor sentiment.

On the data front, 411,000 filed for initial jobless claims in the U.S. during the previous week as the labor market is steadily rebounding from COVID-19 thanks to a reopening economy. Forecasts prepared by predicted 380,000 claims,  while 418,000 claims were filed during the previous week.

Investors now await the core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index, due later in the day, for further clues on rising inflation.

Across the Atlantic, the Bank of England handed down its policy decision on Thursday. The central bank said inflation would exceed 3% in the coming months, but expected that the surge will be transitory and would not impact the current stimulus policy.

In other precious metals, palladium inched down 0.1%, platinum climbed 0.5% and silver was steady at $25.87 per ounce. 

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