Gold prices edged lower in early Asian trade on Monday, helped by a slightly stronger U.S. dollar, with chances of more interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve weighing on bullion’s appeal.


* Spot gold was down 0.1% to $1,917.19 per ounce by 0053 GMT while U.S. gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,925.10.

* Bullion in June ended 2.2% lower, also falling 2.5% for the second quarter, on expectations of a longer Fed rate hike path ahead.

* The dollar index was steady near a two-week high hit on Friday, making gold expensive for holders of other currencies. [USD/]

* U.S. consumer spending stagnated in May on Friday, while the Fed’s preferred core PCE price index, excluding food and energy, increased 4.6% on a year-on-year basis in May after advancing 4.7% in April.
* Investors see an 84% chance of a 25-basis-point hike in July, according to CME’s Fedwatch tool, pricing in another 25 bps rate hike in November, bringing rates into the 5.5%-5.75% range before cuts are seen in 2024. * Investors will also watch for minutes of the June 13-14 FOMC meeting being released on July 5.

* High interest rates discourage investment in non-yielding gold.

* In Japan, business sentiment improved in the second quarter, but factory activity contracted in June.

* Over in the U.S., the Institute of Supply Management‘s (ISM) nationwide PMI reading is expected, but trading volume could be light on Monday due to a U.S. holiday on July 4.

* Spot silver was little changed at $22.74 per ounce, platinum fell 0.1% to $900.19 while palladium rose 0.4% to $1,232.06.