ECB Poll: Economists Confident Euro Zone Inflation Will Fall to 2%

The building of the European Central Bank (ECB) appears on the horizon during sunset in Frankfurt, Germany, December 2, 2023. REUTERS
The building of the European Central Bank (ECB) appears on the horizon during sunset in Frankfurt, Germany, December 2, 2023. REUTERS
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ECB Poll: Economists Confident Euro Zone Inflation Will Fall to 2%

The building of the European Central Bank (ECB) appears on the horizon during sunset in Frankfurt, Germany, December 2, 2023. REUTERS
The building of the European Central Bank (ECB) appears on the horizon during sunset in Frankfurt, Germany, December 2, 2023. REUTERS

Economists are sticking to their view that inflation in the euro zone will fall to 2% and stay there, a European Central Bank poll showed on Friday, in comforting news as the ECB prepares to cut interest rates.

The ECB's latest Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) put inflation at 2.4% this year and 2.0% in 2025, 2026 and in the longer term -- unchanged from the previous round of the poll three months earlier, Reuters reported.

Revisions to economic growth forecasts were minimal, with GDP seen expanding by 0.5% this year, 1.4% next year and in 2026, and 1.3% thereafter.

The ECB held interest rates at a record high on Thursday but signalled it could start cutting as soon as June, even though stubbornly high US inflation could stop the US Federal Reserve from following close behind.

The SPF's results are based on responses from 61 economists at European companies and financial institutions polled between March 18 and 21.



Gold Subdued as US Dollar, Yields Firm; Traders Await Inflation Data

A view shows ingots of 99.99 percent pure gold in a workroom during production at Krastsvetmet precious metals plant in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, May 23, 2024.  REUTERS/Alexander Manzyuk
A view shows ingots of 99.99 percent pure gold in a workroom during production at Krastsvetmet precious metals plant in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, May 23, 2024. REUTERS/Alexander Manzyuk
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Gold Subdued as US Dollar, Yields Firm; Traders Await Inflation Data

A view shows ingots of 99.99 percent pure gold in a workroom during production at Krastsvetmet precious metals plant in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, May 23, 2024.  REUTERS/Alexander Manzyuk
A view shows ingots of 99.99 percent pure gold in a workroom during production at Krastsvetmet precious metals plant in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, May 23, 2024. REUTERS/Alexander Manzyuk

Gold prices edged lower on Wednesday as the US dollar and Treasury yields held firm ahead of key inflation data, which could offer more clarity on the Federal Reserve's interest rate trajectory.
Spot gold eased 0.2% to $2,354.76 per ounce by 0711 GMT. Prices had hit an all-time high of $2,449.89 on May 20, said Reuters.
US gold futures fell 0.1% to $2,355.10.
The dollar held steady against its rivals, making gold less attractive for other currency holders, while benchmark US 10-year bond yields rose to multi-week peaks.
"Investors will try to book profit and prices are trading near $2,350. So, prices have not corrected but it's a kind of a healthy consolidation after a very sharp rally last Monday," said ANZ commodity strategist Soni Kumari.
"Investors will try to position themselves in gold because overall long-term fundamentals are looking pretty strong for gold at the moment."
The US core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) data, the Fed's preferred measure for inflation, is due on Friday.
"A softer US core PCE release would make the job easier for gold to reclaim the $2,400 level, given the possible rate-cut timing implications," said Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade in a note.
Traders currently pricing in about a 59% chance of a rate cut by November, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.
While gold is used as a hedge against inflation, rate hikes raise the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
Spot silver rose 0.3% to $32.19, platinum was down 0.4% to $1,058.95 and palladium was unchanged at $973.02.
Meanwhile, BHP Group said it needed more time to engage with Anglo American, a week after the London-listed miner rejected BHP's 38.6 billion pounds ($49.20 billion) offer ahead of a final bid deadline later in the day.
The International Monetary Fund upgraded China's GDP growth forecasts for 2024 and 2025 after a "strong" first quarter. China is a key consumer of bullion and other industrial metals.