MTECHTIPS:-Gold edges lower asU.S. dollar bounces back towards14-year

MTECHTIPS:-Gold edges lower as U.S. dollar bounces back towards 14-year high

MTECHTIPS- Gold prices edged lower on Tuesday, as the U.S. dollar bounced back toward its 14-year high against a basket of major currencies with markets focused on the possibility of further U.S. interest rate hikes next year. Gold for February delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange shed $7.95, or 0.7%, to $1,134.75 a troy ounce by 3:25 AM ET (08:25 GMT), after rising $5.30, or 0.47%, in the prior session. Prices of the yellow metal sank to $1,124.30 last week, a level not seen since February 2. The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.25% at 103.32 in early trade, coming within sight of its 14-year peak of 103.55 touched last week. A stronger U.S. dollar usually weighs on gold, as it dampens the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies. Optimistic remarks on the U.S. labor market by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen strengthened the possibility of further rate hikes next year. Speaking at the University of Baltimore’s midyear commencement ceremony Monday, Yellen said recent improvements in the economy have created one of the strongest job markets in years for graduates.