Gold rose above $1,920 an ounce on Monday, hovering at its strongest levels in nearly nine months as easing US inflation and related expectations sparked hopes for less aggressive monetary tightening from the Federal Reserve. The annual inflation rate in the US slowed for a sixth straight month to 6.5% in December, in line with market forecasts. That was also the lowest reading since October 2021, raising hopes that inflation peaked in June at 9.1%. Money markets are now pricing an over 90% chance that the central bank will downshift to a smaller 25 basis point rate hike in February after delivering a half-percentage point increase in December. Gold is highly sensitive to the rates outlook as higher interest rates raise the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, and vice versa.
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