Metals Stocks: Gold futures rise ahead of Thursday’s U.S. inflation report

Gold futures were trading higher Thursday morning as Russia ramped up its attack on Ukraine and investors awaited a report on U.S. inflation in February, which is expected to have climbed to a four-decade high.

Trading in the yellow metal come as the some analysts expect the escalation in hostilities in Eastern Europe to result in monetary policy makers advocating for a slower pace of interest rate increases in the region, as the eurozone contends with economic uncertainties tied to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department is expected to report that the U.S. consumer-price index hit a 7.8% annual rate in February, according to economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

That estimate would exclude the surge in energy prices in March, with crude oil futures CL.1, +3.77% hitting the highest levels since 2008 in recent weeks.

April gold  GCJ22, +1.11% was trading up $20.40, or 1.4%, to $2,008.60, following a 2.7% decline a day ago, which saw the yellow metal hit its highest finish in about 19 months. Bullion futures have flirted with a record settlement high of $2,069.40 from Aug. 6, 2020.

The European Central Bank will release a statement on its monetary policy and interest rates at 7:45 a.m. Eastern Time Thursday and is expected to downgrade its forecast for economic growth and raise its outlook for inflation, which has been fueled by surging energy prices and a weakening of the euro EURUSD, +0.24%. However, analysts expect that the European Central Bank will hold off on raising interest rates due to the war. 

The ECB’s policy update comes ahead of the Federal Reserve’s expected decision to lift interest rates at the conclusion of its two-day policy gathering next Wednesday.


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