Gold prices edged up on Thursday in Asia after the U.S. dollar slipped amid growing expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would halt its rate tightening cycle in 2019.
Gold futures for February delivery traded 0.4% higher to 1,296.55 by 1:45 AM ET (06:45 GMT) on the Comex exchange.
Minutes from the Fed’s Dec. 18-19 policy meeting revealed that several members said they could afford to be “patient” about the future interest rate hike, citing a list of concerns including volatility in financial markets, slowing global growth and muted inflation pressures.
“Gold is getting a bit of support out of a dovish Fed and institutional instability in the U.S,” said Kyle Rodda, a market analyst at IG, Australia.
“We have got the markets pricing in the possibility of a Fed rate cut rather than a hike in the year ahead,” Rodda said, adding that the Fed minutes gave the dollar a bit of a “kick down.”
Gold is highly sensitive to lower interest rates which reduce the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding bullion, while pressuring the U.S. currency.
The U.Sw doller index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies slipped 0.1% at 94.718 on Thursday afternoon in Asia.
Investors also waited for further news on the Sino-U.S. trade talks, after China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that discussions with the U.S. this week were “extensive and detailed,” and that both sides agreed to continue to keep in close contact.
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