Gold prices climb as dollar inches down; market eyes US policy outlook
(Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Monday after declining more than 1 percent last week, buoyed by a weaker U.S. dollar as investors waited for possible clues on the pace of U.S. monetary tightening.
The focus is on Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's first congressional testimony on monetary policy and the economy, due later this week.
Spot gold had climbed 0.6 percent to $1,336.53 an ounce by 0419 GMT. Prices last week fell 1.4 percent, their biggest drop in 2-1/2 months.
U.S. gold futures were up 0.6 percent at $1,338.4 per ounce.
The dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was down 0.1 percent at 89.774. It had gained nearly 0.9 percent last week and pulled away from a three-year low of 88.253 set on Feb. 16.
"Global growth appetite is okay. So it's not safe-haven demand per se, but more of a currency influence," said OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan.
The U.S. Federal Reserve, looking past a recent stock market sell-off and concern about inflation, on Friday said it sees steady growth continuing and no serious risks on the horizon that might pause its planned pace of rate hikes.
"But with the U.S.'s runaway deficit spending train stoking inflationary fears, gold remains a crucial 'buy on dip' strategy not only to hedge against inflation but also against another untimely correction in equity markets," Stephen Innes, APAC trading head at OANDA, said in a note.
While inflation worries could spur safe-haven gold buying, rising interest rates would pressure the metal because bullion pays no interest.
A bullish target at $1,354 per ounce for spot gold has been adjusted to $1,347, based on its current momentum, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Meanwhile, Asian share markets were in a cautious mood on Monday as investors braced for an event-packed week headlined by U.S. inflation data and the first House testimony by the new head of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell.
Among other precious metals, silver climbed about 1 percent to $16.69 an ounce.
Palladium rose 0.5 percent to $1,052.20 per ounce after touching an over three-week high of $1,054.10 earlier in the session.
Platinum rose 0.6 percent to $1,002 per ounce.