Chennai— The weakness in the US dollar and the likelihood of the US Federal Reserve hitting the pause button on interest rate hike made gold attractive, said an analyst.

“Markets now see a 77.2 per cent chance of rates remaining unchanged in the June meeting (of US Federal Reserve). Meanwhile, dollar index and bond yields retreated from their recent peak, dollar index was down by 0.73 per cent and settled at 103.56 level in the previous session. Weakness in US dollar and expectation of a pause in the US Federal reserve policy tightening campaign boosted precious metals’ appeal,” said Saumil Gandhi, Senior Analyst, Commodities, HDFC Securities Ltd.

He said the Comex Spot gold prices traded up on Friday, with spot gold price trading higher by 0.06 per cent at $1978.80 per ounce. While Gold August futures contract at MCX was trading up by 0.05 per cent at Rs 60,250 per 10 grams by noon.

“Gold prices advanced in Asian trading hours on Friday. Yellow metal rallied as sentiments improved after dovish comments from Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker argued that US central bankers should not raise interest rates at their next meeting even though high inflation is coming down at a ‘disappointingly slow’ pace,” Gandhi said.

Comex spot gold is likely to find buyers in the range of $1965/$1950 per ounce and while $1995/$2009 per ounce is the resistance for the day. MCX Gold August future likely to find support at Rs 60,080/59,700 per 10 gram and resistance at Rs 60,580/60,750 per 10 grams, he said.

With regional US banks showing signs of stability, inflation still running hot and the debt deal coming through, the US Federal Reserve may choose to raise rates in June, which will be negative for gold in the near term, said Quantum AMC in a report authored by Chirag Mehta, CIO & Ghazal Jain, Fund Manager.

According to Quantum AMC, if the US Fed does pause in June, whether the pause will be extended or temporary will depend on whether or not prices remain on a sustained downward path. A pause would be positive for gold prices.

Over the medium term, the economic headroom for the Fed to keep raising rates is limited. Markets are still expecting the Federal Reserve to cut rates later this year. A rate cut will be preceded by deteriorating economic conditions or financial instability, making the investment case for holding portfolio diversifiers like gold strong, the Quantum AMC report said.

Investors can use the current consolidation in prices to accumulate gold and build their long-term allocation, the report notes. (IANS)