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Gold hits 1-week high as dollar sags on Trump's Fed attack


[BENGALURU] Gold prices hit a fresh one-week high on Wednesday amid ongoing weakness in the dollar following US President Donald Trump's attack on the Federal Reserve over interest rates.

Spot gold edged up 0.2 per cent to US$1,197.66 at 0030 GMT, its highest since Aug. 14. US gold futures were up 0.3 per cent at US$1,203 an ounce.

The sell-off of the dollar continued through early Wednesday, following US President Donald Trump's criticism of the chairman of the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates in an interview with Reuters on Monday.

Mr Trump's criticism comes as investors are anticipating the release of the Fed's August policy meeting minutes on Wednesday and the bank's annual symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, later this week.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising US rates as it increases the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding metal while boosting the dollar.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was down about 0.1 per cent on Wednesday, after touching its lowest since Aug 9 at 95.08, in the previous session. A weaker dollar generally boosts the price of dollar-denominated gold.

Markets were also focused on a US-China trade meeting this week, but Mr Trump said on Monday he did not expect much progress from talks with Beijing.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.46 per cent to 768.70 tonnes on Tuesday from 772.24 tonnes on Monday.

South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Tuesday that wage negotiations in the gold sector were at a deadlock and the union had declared a dispute, a move that is one step short of a strike.

Switzerland's gold imports and exports fell in July, data from the Swiss customs bureau showed.

South Africa's Harmony Gold reported a 43 per cent fall in annual earnings on Tuesday, hurt by impairments and a loss relating to debt denominated in US dollars, and a setback to its safety record.

Russian gold and silver producer Polymetal said on Tuesday its net income rose 46 per cent year-on-year to US$175 million in the first half of 2018 due to an increase in production and higher sales.


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