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Gold price inches closer to record high as bets for Fed pivot beef up

Gold was moving closer to its all-time high as investors sped up bets the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates next year.

Traders are increasingly positioning for a hard economic landing and aggressive Fed policy easing next year, with speculators in the US Treasury market now the most bullish on record, according to a weekly survey conducted by JPMorgan Chase & Co. since 1991.

Bond yields continued to decline as investors digested remarks from Fed officials Wednesday. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester signaled she would support continuing to hold rates steady at the December meeting, saying policy is “in a good place” to assess whether inflation is on a path back to 2%.

While Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said he’s growing increasingly confident that inflation is firmly on a downward path, his Richmond counterpart Thomas Barkin told CNBC the Central Bank should keep the option to hike.

Gold has rallied more than 11% since early October, initially fueled by haven buying in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. Prices now are within sight of the record high set during the pandemic, supported by a drop in the yields paid by global bonds that are on track for their best month since 2008.

Data Wednesday showed the US economy growing faster than first estimated in the third quarter, while consumer spending rose less than expected. Later in the week, investors will look to the Fed’s preferred measure of underlying inflation for further clues on the direction of interest rates.

Spot gold rose 0.3% to $2,047.37 as of 11:26 a.m. in New York. It’s now less than $30 below its all-time high.