Gold nears 5-month peak as inflation worries boost appeal

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Gold bars are displayed at a gold jewelry shop in Chandigarh

By Amy Caren Daniel

(Reuters) - Gold prices neared the five-month high they touched in the previous session after data showing U.S. consumer prices surged last month prompted a rush into the precious metal seen as a hedge against inflation.

Spot gold rose 0.6% to $1,861.46 per ounce by 1548 GMT. U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.83 % to $1,863.60 per ounce.

"The market is spooked with yesterday's CPI data coming in as high as it was. Traders are looking at gold as being a safety asset, as a hedge against this inflation risk," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

Gold rose as much as 2% on Wednesday and hit its highest level since mid-June after data showed U.S. consumer prices rose at their fastest pace in 31 years, more signs inflation could stay uncomfortably high well into 2022.

"The reading that we saw yesterday could be another push back up to $1,900 an ounce for gold," Haberkorn said, adding the market does not believe a rate hike is on the cards right now.

Reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push government bond yields up, raising the opportunity cost of gold, which pays no interest.

Gold has scaled new peaks over the past few sessions after major central banks indicated last week interest rates would remain low in the near term, with the Federal Reserve maintaining its stance that inflation was "transitory".

However, since then, Fed officials have raised concerns about longer-lasting inflation.

"While the narrative had developed in the wake of the FOMC meeting last week that the Fed would look through high inflation numbers... these numbers (CPI data) were sufficiently hot to jolt the market," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen in a note.

Elsewhere, spot silver jumped 2.3% to $25.20 per ounce, its highest since Aug. 6. Platinum gained 1.4% to $1,082.00 per ounce and palladium rose 2.5% to $2,070.45 per ounce.

(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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