(Updates prices, adds forecasts from latest precious polls)
* Dollar slips to one-month low
* Gold’s rally could be more sustained -analyst
* Gold set for modest rally before easing in 2022 -poll
* Palladium forecasts raised, lowered for platinum -poll
July 29 (Reuters) - Gold jumped more than 1% on Thursday as investors cheered U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments suggesting the central bank was unlikely to hike rates anytime soon.
Spot gold was 1.3% higher at $1,830.11 per ounce by 2:19 pm EDT (1819 GMT), having hit its highest since July 15 at $1,832.40.
U.S. gold futures settled 1.8% higher at $1,831.2 per ounce.
Powell said the U.S. job market still had “some ground to cover” before it would be time to pull back support to the economy.
“You’re going to see inflation heat up moving forward because the Fed is more focused on employment and is not going to fight them in the near-term and that is a positive environment for precious metals,” said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.
“This is not a flash-in-the-pan type rally but a more sustainable one because nothing is standing in gold’s way.”
Reinforcing Powell’s views, data showed the U.S. economy grew at a 6.5% annualized rate last quarter, below a forecast for an 8.5% rise by economists in a Reuters poll.
Lower U.S. interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
Adding to gold’s support, the dollar index slipped to a one-month low.
“Rising monetary policy uncertainty, inflation and increasing risk of equity market volatility should favour demand for safe-haven assets,” ANZ Research said in a note.
Gold prices will average a little above their current level of $1,830 an ounce for the remainder of 2021 before easing in 2022, a Reuters poll showed.
Silver jumped 2.8% to $25.62 per ounce after hitting its highest since July 16.
Platinum added 0.1% to $1,065.61 an ounce, and palladium gained 0.8% to $2,647.62.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters revised up their palladium forecasts as a chronic shortage of the metal is expected to keep prices close to record levels. (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru Editing by Sonya Hepinstall, Kirsten Donovan)
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