MTECHTIPS:-Gold Prices Hold Onto Gains After Mixed U.S. Data

MTECHTIPS:-Gold Prices Hold Onto Gains After Mixed U.S. Data

MTECHTIPS-Gold prices held onto gains on Wednesday, after the release of mixed U.S. economic reports and as traders were still eyeing the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting due later in the day. Comex gold futures were up $3.82 or about 0.30% at $1,285.53 a troy ounce by 08:35 a.m. ET (12:35 GMT). The U.S. Department of Labor reported on Wednesday that initial jobless claims fell more than expected to 239,000 last week. However, on a less positive note, the Commerce Department said the durable goods orders dropped 1.2% last month, disappointing expectations for a 0.3% gain. Meanwhile, market participants were eyeing the minutes of the Fed’s most recent policy meeting, due later Wednesday, as the report could offer clues on the pace of potential interest rate hikes. In a speech late Tuesday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank is “reasonably close” to its goals and should keep gradually raising interest rates to avoid the risk of letting inflation slip below target for too long and of pushing unemployment down too far. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.15% at 93.75. Gold is sensitive to moves in both U.S. rates and the dollar. A weaker dollar makes gold less expensive for holders of foreign currency, while a rise in U.S. rates lifts the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion
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