Gold futures steadies above $1,200, U.S. Fed rate hike in focus

Gold futures steadies above $1,200, U.S. Fed rate hike in focus

Gold futures prices were little changed above $1,200 on Thursday, ahead of investors eyed minutes from the Federal Reserve’s policy meet showed the U.S. central bank was unlikely to hike interest rates in June.

On the Comex New York, gold futures for June delivery tacked on $1.50, or 0.12%, to trade at $1,210.20 a troy ounce. Spot gold was firm at $1,208.95 an ounce, after gaining 0.2 per cent in the previous session.

Minutes of meeting in April by the Federal Reserve, released on Wednesday, showed politicians believed that it was premature raising interest rates in June, a vision that is already widespread in the market after dismal economic data. Fed officials showed minutes pushing a view to rate hike later this year.

The minutes also underlined the dilemma the Fed is trying to avoid market volatility linked to a rise in interest rates, while the meeting by meeting guidance on when this movement will stick.

Investor sentiment has turned bearish the last few days, as prices of metals have dropped from 3-month highs made earlier this week.

The SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings were down 0.41 per cent to 715.26 tonnes on Wednesday – the lowest in four months.

The record states, the time of a rate hike “will depend on the evolving economic conditions and prospects.”

Later in the day, the US issued a series of reports, including initial unemployment claims, existing home sales and out manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region.

Investors were also turning their attention to US inflation figures on Friday and a speech by Fed President Janet Yellen to fresh indications of how the economy is performing.

Gold prices on the Multi Commodity Exchange were trading flat on Thursday. MCX Gold futures for delivery in August was trading at Rs 27530 up Rs 27, or 0.10 percent.

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