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PRECIOUS-Gold slips on strong dollar as Fed holds rates

CommoditiesNov 08, 2018 15:03
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© Reuters. PRECIOUS-Gold slips on strong dollar as Fed holds rates

(Recasts with Fed announcement, adds comment, updates prices)

* Gold edges down for a fifth straight session

* Fed holds interest rates steady

* Platinum near more than 4-month highs

By Sethuraman N R and Karthika Suresh Namboothiri

Nov 8 (Reuters) - Gold eased to a one-week low on Thursday on a stronger dollar, after the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and was seen on track for further rate hikes.

"The labor market has continued to strengthen and ... economic activity has been rising at a strong rate," the Fed said in its latest policy statement, leaving intact its plans to continue raising rates gradually. gold XAU= fell 0.2 percent to $1,223.11 per ounce at 2:50 p.m. ET (1950 GMT), after touching its lowest since Nov. 1 at $1,219.59 earlier in the session.

U.S. gold futures GCcv1 for December delivery settled down $3.60, or 0.29 percent, at $1,225.10

"The Fed gave no indication that they are changing their pace of rate hikes," said Michael Cuggino, portfolio manager at Permanent Portfolio Family of Funds.

As a "knee-jerk reaction" to this, gold will not be favoured in the near-term, Cuggino said.

Financial markets had expected the Fed to hold its benchmark overnight lending rate steady and the central bank's statement showed little change in its outlook for the economy since its previous meeting in September.

The Fed has raised rates three times this year and is widely expected to do so again in December.

Higher interest rates raise the opportunity costs of holding gold, which earns nothing and costs money to store and insure.

"A failure to continue the momentum a little higher could see gold moving back to the psychologically (important) $1,200 level," said Ross Norman, chief executive officer of Sharps Pixley.

The precious metal has fallen more than 10 percent from its April peak after investors preferred the dollar as the U.S.-China trade war unfolded against a background of higher U.S. interest rates.

The dollar extended its recovery following a sigh of relief across markets after the U.S. congressional midterm election results, and as investors turned their attention toward the Fed. USD/

Gold is on track to post a fifth straight session of losses, hurt more broadly by a recovery in investor appetite for nominally higher-risk assets like stocks. MKTS/GLOB

"Risk appetite in the world marketplace is mostly upbeat following the U.S. mid-term elections that produced a divided Congress," Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said in a note.

"A rebound in the U.S. dollar index today, following selling pressure this week, is working against the precious metals market bulls."

Silver XAG= fell 1.1 percent to $14.40 per ounce.

Palladium XPD= fell 0.8 percent to $1,124.40 per ounce. It touched a two-week high of $1,139.50 an ounce in the previous session.

Platinum XPT= was down 1.2 percent at $862 an ounce, after hitting its highest since June 25 at $877.50 an ounce on Wednesday.

PRECIOUS-Gold slips on strong dollar as Fed holds rates
 

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