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Gold Subdued Ahead Of US Inflation Data

Gold prices were subdued on Wednesday as investors digested Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell remarks that rate hikes will be needed to curb inflation.

Spot gold dipped 0.3 percent to $1,817.05 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,816.55.

Powell's comments appeared to be less hawkish than expected, pushing up equities and driving down treasury yields.

Powell said that the Fed is likely to begin the normalization of monetary policy this year, although he didn't give any hint on the timing of the first rate hike.

Powell added that policymakers were still discussing approaches to shrink the Fed's balance sheet and the move could start later this year.

Meanwhile, data released earlier in the day showed that China's consumer inflation slowed in December, raising hopes for more easing from the People's Bank of China.

After the less hawkish comments from Powell, investors now await U.S. consumer inflation data later in the day for further clues on the rate outlook.

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