MTECHTIPS:-Gold prices weaker in Asia as investors await tone from Fed

MTECHTIPS:-Gold prices weaker in Asia as investors await tone from Fed

MTECHTIPS- Gold prices dipped in Asia as investors looked beyond the widely expected Fed rate hike this week for insight on the timing and pace of higher rates in 2017. Gold for February delivery fell 0.31% to $1,158.30 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in metals trading, silver for March delivery dipped 0.29% to $16.918 a troy ounce, and copper for March delivery jumped 1.17% to $2.683 a pound. The Fed kicks off a two-day meeting starting Dec. 13 with the first hike in a year nearly certain, but markets will be looking for guidance on the path in 2017. As well, market watchers will be awaiting a number of U.S. economic reports, including figures on retail sales and inflation for fresh signs on how the economy is performing in the final quarter. Last week, gold prices touched fresh 10-month lows on Friday and the precious metal posted its fifth straight weekly decline as expectations for higher U.S. interest rates continued to weigh. The dollar rose on Friday amid widespread expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates at the conclusion of its policy meeting on Wednesday. Higher rates boost the dollar by making the currency more attractive to yield-seeking investors. Both a strong dollar and higher interest rates are typically bearish for gold, which is denominated in dollars and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise.

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