Gold rises as dollar dips before Fed minutes

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According to the minutes released in the afternoon, the Fed viewed a near-term increase in interest rates as possible but policymakers also expressed concerns about persistently low inflation, hinting that the rate hike pace could be more moderate than expected in 2018. Gold's gains accelerated after the Fed minutes, as the dollar fell to a two - month low versus the Japanese yen, a one - month low against the Swiss franc and its lowest since October 20 against a basket of currencies.

However, a few felt any further rate hikes should be delayed until they see inflation moving higher, minutes of their last meeting revealed.

The yen climbed 1.1 per cent to 111.18 per dollar. It slipped 1 percent versus the Swiss franc, which investors typically seek in times of market uncertainty, as well as currencies including the Brazilian real, South African rand and Russian rouble, which are generally sought in risk-on trading.

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The yen rose to a nine-week high against the dollar.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment report also showed a decline in expectations for long-term inflation. A weaker dollar makes gold less expensive for holders of foreign currency, while a rise in USA rates lifts the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion. At that meeting, the Fed held interest rates steady between 1% and 1.25%. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 4.88 points, or 0.07 percent, to 6,867.36.

On the economic front, US new orders for manufactured durable goods in October decreased 2.8 billion USA dollars or 1.2 percent to 236 billion dollars, missing market projection of a 0.4-percent gain, the Commerce Department announced Wednesday. "That's just what happens when you have strong global growth is you get USA dollar weakness".