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Gold is trading higher at the end of the week, back over the USD 1,200 level, after retreating for four days in a row. The minutes of the last FOMC policy meeting showed that the board is divided on whether to hike interest rates in June or not. As a consequence of the weaker-than-expected GDP growth and disappointing labour market data a potential interest rate hike might be delayed till September. But speculations for a midyear rate hike by the FED - despite weaker economic data coming from the U.S. - weighed on the precious metal. According to FED Governor Powell the FED could hike interest rates as early as June if labor markets data remains strong and points to a recovery.
A stronger US dollar is putting pressure on gold, as it reduces the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-denominated commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.
Gold is currently quoted at USD1,202.40 +0,72% a troy ounce, back above the USD1,200 level. On Thursday the 22nd of January gold reached a five-month high at USD1,307.40. On Tuesday the 17th of march gold traded as low as USD1,142.50, a three-month low.
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