Investors were seen holding tightly onto gold and the SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSEARCA:GLD) as minutes of the July meeting of the Federal Reserve further indicated that uncertainty clouds the next interest rate hike by the monetary regulator.
In the minutes, Fed policy officials were divided on what to do with interest rates in the near-term. At the end of its July meeting, the Fed issued a statement that said near-term pressure on the U.S. economy had diminished, but also said that there was a need to continue looking at the quality of the economic data being reported between now and the next policy meeting in September.
Lowered expectations that the Fed will raise rates in the near-term rattled the dollar, thus making gold cheaper for foreign traders.
How gold is trading Thursday
Prices of gold futures for December delivery had risen to a session high of $ 1,361.45 a troy ounce in European morning trade. Earlier in the day, gold rose 0.44% in Asian hours.
Gold prices eased a day earlier on cautious trade ahead of the release of the Fed minutes. Investors were expecting a more hawkish sentiment in the Fed minutes, but that didn’t happen.
“We’re moving from Fed event to Fed event with the gold market […]. As they continue to send out different signals, gold will continue to trade higher,” said Bob Haberkorn of RJO Futures.
Prices of gold are up almost 26% for the year. The Brexit vote also fueled interest in gold, but the price eased after the Conservative Party in U.K. moved quickly to appoint a new Prime Minister following the resignation of David Cameron, who supported the Remain camp.
Favorable environment for gold
Low interest rates are favorable for gold as it makes yield-bearing assets such as bonds less attractive for investors. In that case, risk-averse investors are turning to safe-haven assets for value protection and hedging against uncertainties.