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Gold hits record high on buying momentum, geopolitical risks

Production of gold at Novosibirsk precious metals plant

By Ashitha Shivaprasad

(Reuters) - Gold extended its record run on Tuesday fueled by buying momentum and geopolitical risks, while the spotlight shifted to the Federal Reserve's policy meeting minutes and U.S. inflation data for insights into U.S. rate cut timeline.

Spot gold was up 0.3% at $2,346.57 per ounce by 2:06 p.m. ET (1806 GMT) after hitting a record high of $2,365.09.

U.S. gold futures settled 0.5% higher at $2,362.4.

"Technical buying momentum will continue in the gold market unless the CPI data comes out much hotter-than-expected. A cooler inflation report could take prices to $2,400," said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.

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The U.S. central bank's policy meeting minutes and U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) data are due on Wednesday.

Bullion is considered a hedge against inflation and geopolitical uncertainties, but higher interest rates tend to dull the appeal of holding the non-yielding asset.

"The fundamentals underpinning the current rally include growing geopolitical risk, steady central bank buying and resilient demand for jewellery and bars and coins," the World Gold Council said in a note.

"With the prospect of lower interest rates ahead, the suggestion is that (gold exchange-traded-funds) ETFs have missed the rally and are now under-allocated."

CME Group data showed that the market is pricing in a 53% chance of a rate cut in June.

"Despite my long-term bullish outlook on gold, given the current conditions, I anticipate a bearish reversal, perhaps even a minor one," said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at City Index in a note.

Spot silver rose 0.5% to $27.97 per ounce after hitting its highest level since June 2021 earlier in the session.

Platinum firmed 1.3% to $971.05 and palladium rose 3% to $1,077.00.

"Given the lack of production discipline, we are particularly concerned about palladium, which will likely continue to underperform platinum whose demand is less exposed to the auto industry," BofA analysts wrote in a note.

(Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Ravi Prakash Kumar and Krishna Chandra Eluri)