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Gold eases as dollar gains, Fed rate cut bets lend support

Gold prices edged lower on Thursday as the dollar rebounded, although signs of cooling U.S. inflation cemented hopes for interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve this year and kept bullion near the one-month peak.

Spot gold fell 0.3% to $2,377.93 per ounce, after hitting its highest since April 19 earlier in the session. Bullion rose more than 1% on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled 0.5% lower at $2,382.80 per ounce.

"Gold market is seeing some routine profit taking pressure by the short term futures traders after the recent gains, while the firmer U.S. dollar Index today is also adding to that pressure," said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals.

The dollar rose 0.2% against its rivals after hitting a multi-month low in the previous session after data showed U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected in April.

A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for other currency holders.

Meanwhile, Fed Bank of New York President John Williams said that positive news around cooling inflation is not enough to call for the U.S. central bank to cut interest rates sometime soon. Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold.

Market participants are pricing in a roughly 68% chance that the Fed will cut rates in September, according to CME's FedWatch tool.

"Weaker U.S. dollar, declining U.S. Treasury yields as well as elevated geopolitical tensions offered support to gold over the past week and we expect gold prices to stay above $2,250/oz in the coming months," Fitch Solutions analysis unit BMI said in a note.