October 12, 2017
PRECIOUS-Gold prices touch two-week high amid subdued U.S. dollar
(Reuters) - Gold prices rose to their highest in two weeks on Thursday amid a muted dollar, after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's September policy meeting revealed low inflation concerns.
Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,294.29 an ounce by 0338 GMT, after earlier marking its best since Sept. 27 at$1295.45.
U.S. gold futures for December delivery climbed 0.6 percent to $1,296.50 per ounce.
"Gold prices rose slightly as the market appeared to take the Fed minutes as slightly dovish. In particular, it was the comments on persistently low inflation that seemed to gain much attention. This saw the US dollar weaken slightly, increasing investor appetite for the precious metal," ANZ analysts said in a note.
Fed policymakers had a prolonged debate about the prospects of a pickup in inflation and slowing the path of future interest rate rises if it did not, according to the minutes of the U.S. central bank's last policy meeting on Sept. 19-20 released on Wednesday.
The dollar hit a fresh over two-week low on Thursday following the news.
Several policymakers said they would focus on upcoming inflation data over the next few months when deciding on the central bank's future rate hike path.
U.S. short-term interest rate futures were steady on Wednesday as traders stuck to their bets on a possible U.S. rate hike in December.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates, as these tend to boost the dollar, the currency in which the metal is priced.
"Investors' concerns over escalating tensions between U.S. and North Korea remain high," ANZ analysts noted.
Trump has "lit the wick of war" with North Korea and his country will be made to pay with "a hail of fire", a Russian news agency quoted North Korea's foreign minister as saying on Wednesday.
If people are not too worried about the Fed's policy, we have North Korea. Surely, geopolitical tensions are supporting prices ... we may try $1,300 next week, said Yuichi Ikemizu, Tokyo branch manager at CIBC Standard Bank.
Spot gold may test resistance at $1,299 per ounce, with a good chance of breaking above this level and rising more towards the next resistance at $1,305, Reuters technicals analyst Wang Tao said. .
Silver edged up 0.1 percent to $17.18 an ounce.
Platinum was 0.2 percent higher at $929.55 an ounce, having hit a two-week high in the previous session.
Palladium was unchanged at $959.10 an ounce.