Gold is little changed this month after dropping in February and March as investors gauge data for indications as to when rate increases may begin. The Fed starts a two-day meeting on Tuesday after diverging reports on the housing market and orders for business equipment. Investors expanded gold holdings for a second week, while Greece is looking for ways to amass enough cash to pay its pensioners and employees.
“This meeting will be key,” Frederic Panizzutti, global head of sales at MKS Switzerland PAMP Group, said by phone from Dubai on Monday. “Everyone had expected a rate rise this summer, but with recent data, that now looks less certain.”
Bullion for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.4 percent to $1,183.83 an ounce and traded at $1,182.94 at 11:12 a.m. in London, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. Prices fell to $1,175.35 on Friday, the lowest level since March 20.
While the Fed has ruled out raising rates when it meets this week, policy makers have left the door open for June. Higher rates hurt the allure of gold, which usually only provides a return if prices rise.
Orders for business equipment unexpectedly fell in March for a seventh consecutive month, Commerce Department data showed on Friday, a sign U.S. business investment will remain sluggish. Demand for all durable goods rose 4 percent on aircraft and autos. Reports last week showed sales of previously owned homes climbed in March, while purchases of new ones fell more than forecast.
Holdings in bullion-backed exchange-traded products increased for the sixth consecutive day, the longest run since Jan. 29, according to data collated by Bloomberg as of April 24. Assets have expanded 5.1 metric tons this month, the data show.
Silver for immediate delivery climbed as much as 1 percent to $15.8907 an ounce, and was last at $15.834. Palladium fell 0.2 percent to $770.75 an ounce, while platinum was little changed at $1,123.50 an ounce.