Gold Settles Higher, but Edges Lower After Fed Minutes
By Ira Iosebashvili
Gold prices pared gains in aftermarket trading Wednesday after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its latest monetary-policy meeting.
Gold for June delivery recently was up 0.6% at $1,353.80 a troy ounce in electronic trading. Prices closed at $1,360 a troy ounce in regular trading on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest close since March 26.
Fed officials at their meeting last month signaled greater confidence in reaching their 2% inflation target over the coming year and believed the economy would grow faster than its sustainable rate for the next few years, the minutes showed.
Some investors believed the comments bolstered the case for the central bank to raise rates at a faster pace, a potentially bearish development for gold, which struggles to compete with yield-bearing investments when rates rise.
Earlier in the session, geopolitical tensions pushed the metal higher. President Donald Trump said early Wednesday that U.S. missiles "will be coming" to Syria, and warned he was willing to challenge Russia directly in launching a military strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces over an alleged chemical-weapons attack. The comments benefited prices for gold, a popular destination for investors during times of political or economic uncertainty.
Political tensions also buoyed prices for palladium, a key Russian export. Palladium for June delivery closed up 1.2% at $960.95 a troy ounce.
In base metals, aluminum for delivery in three months rose 2.2% to $2,250 a metric ton on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Russia is the world's second-largest exporter of aluminum, after China.
Copper fell 0.6% to $3.1170 a pound.
Write to Ira Iosebashvili at firstname.lastname@example.org