August 20, 2015
PRECIOUS-Gold hits 1-month high as Sept Fed hike hopes fizzle
(Reuters)- Gold scaled a one-month peak early on Thursday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting last month signaled that a hike in U.S. interest rates in September may be unlikely.
Fed officials worried that lagging U.S. inflation and a weak global economy posed too big a risk to commit to "liftoff" on rates.
* Spot gold touched $1,134.40 an ounce in early deals, its loftiest since July 17, and was flat at $1,134.01 by 0043 GMT.
* U.S. gold for December delivery rose half a percent to $1,133.70 an ounce.
* Only one Fed policymaker was ready to vote for a rate hike at the central bank's July 28-29 policy meeting, while some others "viewed the economic conditions for beginning to increase the target range for the federal funds rate as having been met or were confident that they would be met shortly," according to minutes from the meeting released on Wednesday.
* Many analysts had been betting on a rate hike when Federal Reserve officials next meet in September given sustained strength in the world's largest economy. But some thought policymakers might take a gradual approach in lifting rates after China's surprise devaluation of its yuan last week.
* A potential delay in a rate increase offers upside potential for non-interest bearing gold that had been out of favour versus the dollar.
* U.S. consumer prices rose only slightly in July as airline fares recorded their biggest drop since 1995.
* Greece has suspended the mining operations of Canada's Eldorado Gold in northern Greece, saying the company violated contract terms, in a setback to one of the top foreign investment projects in the country.
* South Africa's Chamber of Mines declared a dispute with Solidarity Union over collapsed wage talks and referred the matter to a government mediator.
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* The dollar was on the defensive against the euro and yen, having pulled back sharply after Federal Reserve meeting minutes suggested that policymakers were in no hurry to raise interest rates.
* Concerns about slowing growth in China pressured Asian shares and oil prices.