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Gold Holds Above $2,400, Eyes Third Consecutive Weekly Gain

Gold prices remained steady above $2,400 per ounce on Friday, poised for a third consecutive weekly gain. This stability comes as investors grow increasingly confident that the Federal Reserve will soon cut interest rates, following unexpected declines in U.S. consumer prices. Despite a hotter-than-expected producer price index report causing some profit-taking, the overall sentiment remains bullish. Markets are now pricing in a 96% chance of a rate cut in September, which would reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold. While gold and silver have shown strength, platinum and palladium are set for weekly declines, with long-term bearish outlooks due to declining autocatalyst demand.

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Consumer Sentiment Dips to 8-Month Low Despite Easing Inflation Expectations

U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly dropped to an eight-month low in early July, according to the University of Michigan's preliminary reading. Despite expectations for easing inflation, consumers remain frustrated with persistently high prices, which are eroding living standards. The sentiment index fell to 66 from 68.2 in June, contrary to economists' predictions of a slight increase. While consumers' inflation expectations for the next year and the long term decreased slightly, nearly half of the respondents spontaneously expressed concerns about high prices impacting their quality of life. This decline in sentiment comes despite recent data showing cooling inflation, highlighting the ongoing impact of price pressures on consumer perceptions of the economy.

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Bond Traders Eye Possibility of 50 Basis Point Fed Rate Cut After Inflation Data

Following softer-than-expected inflation data, bond traders are increasingly betting on the possibility of a larger-than-usual 50 basis point interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve in September. This shift is evident in the federal funds futures market, particularly in October contracts, which have seen record trading volumes. While these contracts already fully price in a standard quarter-point cut for the September 18 meeting, the increased buying at higher price levels suggests growing expectations for a more aggressive move. Swap contracts now indicate a full quarter-point cut in September and a total of 60 basis points of easing by year-end, reflecting a significant change in market sentiment regarding the Fed's monetary policy trajectory.

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LBMA and WGC Push for Gold's Upgrade to HQLA Status Under Basel III

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and World Gold Council (WGC) are advocating for gold to be reclassified as a High-Quality Liquid Asset (HQLA) under Basel III regulations. In a recent meeting with the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), they presented data and research supporting this change, which could enhance market stability, improve liquidity, and boost confidence in the financial system. The BIS representatives provided positive feedback and guidance on additional information needed to progress the reclassification. This move could significantly benefit financial institutions and the broader economy by strengthening gold's role in the global financial system.

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