Global gold prices steady ahead of Fed minutes

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Gold prices stood little changed on Wednesday after the dollar recouped early losses, with investors awaiting the release of the US Federal Reserve’s minutes from its September meeting for clues on further interest rate hikes this year.

Spot gold was unchanged at $1,287.70 an ounce by 9.39am. It touched its highest level since 27 September in the previous session. US gold futures for December delivery eased 0.3% to $1,290 per ounce.

“Some money is just coming off the table ahead of the FOMC minutes and its just a bit of risk on. It just feels a little bit of heavier (for gold) with what’s going on with the dollar in Asia,” a Hong Kong-based trader said. “It’s probably going to be in $1280-1300 range for the moment.”

Asian shares rose on Wednesday, tracking Wall Street’s rally to all-time highs, and the dollar pared early losses ahead of the release of the minutes from the Fed’s September policy meeting later in the day, with a buoyant euro keeping a check on its gains. Markets are widely expecting the US central bank to raise rates in December, for a third time this year.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar in which the metal is priced.

“$1,300 is a very psychological level for gold. We really need to peck on through that to see some more buying. We’re just going to be waiting for the FOMC minutes and run into a bit of profit taking for the time being,” the trader added.

Spot gold may retrace to a support at $1,281 per ounce before resuming its rally towards a resistance at $1,299, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

In other precious metals, silver rose 0.2% to $17.11 an ounce, having hit a three-week high in the previous session. Platinum was up 0.2% at $931.10 an ounce and palladium was trading 0.3% higher at $935.85 an ounce.

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