October 11, 2017 / 4:31 AM / 9 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices hold steady ahead of Fed minutes

    * Spot gold may retrace to support at $1,281/oz -technicals
    * Fed September policy meeting minutes due at 1800 GMT

 (Adds comment, updates prices)
    By Apeksha Nair
    Oct 11 (Reuters) - Gold prices were stable on Wednesday as
the U.S. dollar held steady, with investors waiting for minutes
from the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest meeting for clues on the
outlook for potential rate rises.
    Spot gold        was unchanged at $1,287.36 an ounce by 0709
    U.S. gold futures         for December delivery eased 0.3
percent to $1,290.50 per ounce.
    "Gold rose initially following on from its overnight rally,
but this faded to leave it almost unchanged as early Asia buying
petered out," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at
    "Even news that the U.S. had flown two B-1 aircraft over the
Korean Peninsula failed to raise the market from its lethargy
despite the dollar weakening slightly this morning."   
    The U.S. military flew two strategic bombers over the Korean
peninsula in a show of force late on Tuesday, as President
Donald Trump met top defence officials to discuss how to respond
to any threat from North Korea.             
    "With North Korea relatively quiet and the Catalans choosing
not to escalate the constitutional quagmire in Spain, gold gave
up some of its safe-haven premium as we approached midday,"
Halley said.
    The dollar wavered on Wednesday, ahead of the release of the
minutes from the Fed's September policy meeting later in the
day, while the euro held firm as political tensions over
Catalonia receded slightly.         
   "It just feels a little bit heavier (for gold) with what's
going on with the dollar in Asia," a Hong Kong-based trader
   "It's probably going to be in the $1,280-1,300 range for the
    Markets are widely expecting the U.S. central bank to raise
rates in December, for a third time this year. 
    Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates, as these
increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion,
while boosting the dollar in which the metal is priced.  
    Spot gold may retrace to support at $1,281 per ounce before
resuming its rally towards resistance at $1,299, said Reuters
technical analyst Wang Tao.             
    In other precious metals, silver        rose 0.2 percent to
$17.10 an ounce, having hit a three-week high in the previous
    Platinum        was up 0.2 percent at $930.50 an ounce and
palladium        was trading 0.3-percent higher at $936.25 an

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan
and Joseph Radford)
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