BENGALURU: Gold was mostly quiet on Thursday, but faced its worst quarter since early 2021 as a remarkable showing from the dollar kept investors away, with bullion's outlook clouded by top central banks adopting aggressive tactics to fight stubborn inflation.
Spot gold was flat at $1,817.01 per ounce by 0615 GMT. U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,816.90. Gold prices, set to drop for a third straight month, have fallen about 6.2% this quarter.
A combination of rising yields and U.S. dollar have played their part in gold's underperformance, City Index senior market analyst Matt Simpson said, but noted that gold priced in other currencies had not performed too badly.
The U.S. dollar hovered near its recent two-decade peaks, and could record its best quarter in over five years, making greenback-priced gold more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.
Bringing down high inflation around the world will be painful and could even crash growth, but must be done quickly to prevent rapid price growth from becoming entrenched, the world's top central bank chiefs said on Wednesday.
Higher bond yields and interest rate hikes by central banks to fight inflation raise the opportunity cost of holding bullion, which yields no interest.
Bullion's performance in the second quarter erased gains made earlier in the year, as a spiralling Ukraine-Russia conflict lifted demand for the safe haven, with prices back around levels they started 2022 at just above $1,800.
Looking forward, the bias will become increasingly bearish as rate hikes continue to come through and bring down inflation expectations, Ilya Spivak, a currency strategist at DailyFX said, adding that $1,780-$1,790 is a critical support level.
Spot silver rose 0.4% to $20.80 per ounce, platinum was flat at $917.18 and palladium gained 0.9% to $1,979.88.
However, they were all still headed for monthly and quarterly losses.