Jan 30 (Reuters) – Gold prices held steady in early Asian hours on Monday, with investors awaiting the US Federal Reserve’s rate-hike verdict due this week.
* Spot gold was little changed at USD 1,928.32 per ounce, as of 0013 GMT. US gold futures were down 0.1% at USD 1,928.70.
* Traders are eyeing the Fed’s policy meeting scheduled on Jan. 31-Feb. 1. The market broadly expects the US central bank to scale back rate hikes to 25 basis points (bps) from 50 bps announced in December.
* Gold, which pays no interest, tends to benefit when interest rates are low as it reduces the opportunity cost of holding bullion.
* On Friday, data showed that US consumer spending fell in December, while inflation continued to subside, which could give the Fed room to further slow the pace of its rate hikes.
* Physical gold dealers in India offered the steepest discounts in 10 months last week to lure customers, as a sharp rally in local prices squeezed demand in the world’s second-biggest bullion consumer.
* Spot silver gained 0.3% to USD 23.63 per ounce, platinum rose 0.2% to USD 1,014.08, and palladium climbed 0.8% to USD 1,631.64.
(Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)
This article originally appeared on reuters.com