NZ dollar slips as Fed's Dudley talks up US inflation

NZ dollar slips as Fed's Dudley talks up US inflation

Gold hit four-week lows yesterday as the dollar held firm ahead of comments from a top Federal Reserve official on United States monetary policy, but prices were supported by the start of talks on the terms of Britain's departure from the European Union.

In a week where Fedspeak is expected to dominate Treasury markets, New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley got things started right on track. It had set a two-week peak of 111.420 on Friday before its US data-induced retreat.The euro was little changed at $1.1204 after gaining about 0.5 percent on Friday.The pound was steady at $1.2777.Sterling has been confined to a narrow range over the past few days as political and economic worries have been counterbalanced largely by a split in the Bank of England's monetary policy committee on whether to immediately raise interest rates.The Australian dollar was flat at $0.7617, still in reach of a 2-1/2-month high of $0.7636 scaled on Wednesday thanks to upbeat local employment data. However, any weakness in US inflation data going forward would pose a risk for dollar bulls, he added.

The comments sparked a rise in the US currency, reinforcing hopes the fed would continue its plans to keep hiking interest rates.

Hedge funds and money managers raised their net long position in COMEX gold for the third straight week to the highest in seven months in the week to June 6, and upped it slightly in silver, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

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"This is actually a pretty good place to be" with unemployment at 4.3 percent and inflation at about 1.5 percent, Dudley told the North Country Chamber of Commerce in Plattsburg, New York.

The dollar added 0.1 percent to 111.01 yen (JPY=), after touching a two-week high on Friday. It hit session high at 0.7607 and made session lows at 0.7591 levels. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has held interest rates at a record low 1.50 percent after last easing in August 2016, sounding optimistic about the economy despite a slow start to the year.RBA governor Philip Lowe on Monday expressed confidence economic activity will gain momentum, citing a recovery in global growth, upbeat surveys of local business sentiment and strength in employment. Among other metals, spot palladium was up 1.3 percent to $872.83, and platinum rose 0.4 percent to $928 per ounce. USA gold futures fell 0.4 percent to $1,251.6.

USA gold futures fell 0.4 percent to $1,251.6. Brent settled 1 percent lower at $46.91.

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