May 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady on Wednesday and hovered above key $2,400 level touched earlier this week, supported by safe-haven buying and the prospect of interest rate cuts from the U.S. Federal Reserve later this year.


* Spot gold held its ground at $2,422.45 per ounce, as of 0106 GMT. Bullion hit a record high of 2,449.89 on Monday.

* U.S. gold futures were steady at $2,426.00.

* Recent data suggested that U.S. inflation resumed its downward trend, but several Fed policymakers remained cautious on cutting rates too soon and ruled out the need for a hike.

* Fed policymakers said the U.S. central bank should wait several more months to ensure that inflation really is back on track to its 2% target before cutting interest rates.

* Bullion is known as an inflation hedge, but higher rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold.

* U.S. households continued to feel pinched by inflation in late 2023 even as price pressures ebbed with most Americans saying their financial situation had changed little in the last year.

* The minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting, expected at 1800 GMT, could offer more insights into the timing of widely expected interest rate cuts.

* The Shanghai Futures Exchange will raise the trading limit and margin requirements for gold and silver futures contracts from May 23.

* Emboldened by China's latest measures and pledges to fix the weakest parts of its struggling economy, domestic investors are scooping up shares in a cheap stock market, while most foreign investors are hopeful but taking it slow.

* Elsewhere, Israel urged "nations of the civilised world" to oppose the International Criminal Court prosecutor's request for arrest warrants against its leaders, and to declare they would ignore the warrants.

* Spot silver rose 0.4% to $32.08 per ounce, platinum was up 0.4% at $1,050.50 and palladium was flat at $1,025.75.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0600 UK Core CPI YY April 0600 UK CPI YY April 1400 US Existing Home Sales April 1800 US Federal Open Market Committee issues minutes from its meeting of April 30-May 1 (Reporting by Sherin Elizabeth Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)