Gold prices moved higher on Tuesday, rising for a second successive session, although the upside was just marginal as investors chose to pick up stocks amid improved risk sentiment on hopes the Fed will be less aggressive with its policy at its upcoming meeting later this month.
A weak dollar supported the yellow metal. The dollar index slid for the third consecutive day, hitting a one-week low in the European session, reacting to comments from several Federal Reserve officials that the central bank will likely stick to its decision for a 75-bps rate hike this month.
The dollar index dropped to 106.40 before recovering to 106.66, still trailing the previous close by as much as 0.66%.
Gold futures for August ended higher by $0.50 at $1,710.70 an ounce.
Silver futures for September ended down by $0.127 at $18.713 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $3.2910 per pound, down $0.0550 from the previous close.
Data released by the Commerce Department showed housing starts in the U.S. slumped by 2% to an annual rate of 1.559 million in June after plunging by 11.9% to a revised rate of 1.591 million in May.
The continued decrease came as a surprise to economists, who had expected housing starts to jump by 2.3% to an annual rate of 1.585 million from the 1.549 million originally reported for the previous month.
With the unexpected decrease, housing starts dropped to the lowest annual rate since hitting 1.505 million in April of 2021.
The report showed building permits also fell by 0.6% to an annual rate of 1.685 million in June after tumbling by 7% to a rate of 1.695 million in May.
Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, were expected to slump by 2.7% to an annual rate of 1.650 million.