Gold holds above one-month low on softer dollar, weak U.S. data
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Gold clung to small overnight gains on Tuesday to hold above a one-month low, supported by a softer dollar and weak U.S. economic data that dented expectations of an immediate hike in U.S. interest rates.
* Spot gold was little changed at $1,221.40 an ounce by 0033 GMT. The metal had fallen to a one-month low of $1,208.15 on Monday, before closing the day up 0.4 percent.
* Bullion was in demand after the dollar fell on disappointing data on the U.S. economy.
* Data on Monday showed U.S. consumer spending barely rose in February and inflation retreated, suggesting the Federal Reserve could remain cautious about raising interest rates this year even as the labour market rapidly tightens.
* Following the weak data, economists slashed their first-quarter gross domestic product growth estimates, while the dollar fell 0.2 percent against a basket of major currencies.
* The disappointing outcome dimmed expectations for an imminent hike in U.S. interest rates, which some Fed officials last week said could be as early as next month if the economy maintained its momentum.
* Last week, hawkish comments from several Fed officials put investors on guard for the possibility of at least two rates increases this year, triggering a widespread correction across commodities and bolstering the dollar.
* Markets will be eyeing a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen to the Economic Club of New York. She is due to speak on the economic outlook and monetary policy at 1620 GMT on Tuesday.
* For the top stories on metals and other news, click [TOP/MTL] or [GOL]
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
1300 U.S. S&P/Case-Shiller housing index Jan
1400 U.S. Consumer confidence Mar
1620 Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks on U.S. economic outlook and monetary policy before an Economic Club of New York luncheon
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin)