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Gold Prices At Sessions Highs As Fed Unclear On Future Rate Hikes - FOMC Minutes

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Gold prices are holding near session highs following the minutes of the December Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting, which according to some market analysts showed a dovish tilt.

According to the minutes, there is growing uncertainty among the central bank committee as to the timing of future interest rates. The comments were made as the central bank raised rates following the meeting, the fourth rate hike this year.

“With an increase in the target range at this meeting, the federal funds rate would be at or close to the lower end of the range of estimates of the longer-run neutral interest rate, and participants expressed that recent developments, including the volatility in financial markets and the increased concerns about global growth, made the appropriate extent and timing of future policy firming less clear than earlier," the minutes said.

Gold prices pushed to sessions highs in delayed reaction to the dovish sentiment reflected in the minutes but are holding near session highs. February Gold futures last traded at $1,2924.50 an ounce, up 0.67% on the day.

In further dovish sentiment, the minutes showed that some committee members felt the central bank can be more patient on tightening monetary policy in an environment of low inflation pressures.

“[M]any participants expressed the view that, especially in an environment of muted inflation pressures, the Committee could afford to be patient about further policy firming,” the minutes said.

Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC World Markets said that latest minutes reinforces recent the cautious tone set by central bank officials.

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