MTECHTIPS;-Gold Prices Hover Near 4-Month Highs on Softer Dollar

MTECHTIPS;-Gold Prices Hover Near 4-Month Highs on Softer Dollar

MTECHTIPS- Gold prices were hovering near four-month highs on Wednesday, as sentiment on the U.S. dollar weakened ahead of retail sales and inflation reports due at the end of the week. Comex gold futures were up 0.69% at $1,322.80 a troy ounce by 08:30 a.m. ET (12:30 GMT), just off a four-month peak of 1,328.60 hit earlier in the day. The U.S. dollar received no support after official data on Wednesday showed that U.S. import prices rose less than expected in December, while export prices unexpectedly fell. Market participants were now focusing on the release of U.S. inflation data due on Friday, for clues on the potential pace of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. The greenback had initially strengthened after San Francisco Fed President John Williams said on Saturday that the Fed should raise interest rates three times this year given that economy will benefit from tax cuts. The comments came a day after Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mister said she expects about four interest rate hikes this year, thanks to solid U.S. economic growth and low unemployment

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