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Gold Prices Steady Above $1,500; Fed Minutes In Focus

Spot gold slipped 0.2 per cent to $1,503.50 per ounce by 0608 GMT. U.S. gold futures were down 0.2 per cent at $1,512.90 an ounce.

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Gold prices held steady on Wednesday after recovering to above the key $1,500 an ounce level in the previous session, with investors waiting for the minutes of the Federal Reserve's July meeting for clues on future U.S. interest rate cuts.

Spot gold slipped 0.2% to $1,503.50 per ounce by 0608 GMT.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.2% at $1,512.90 an ounce.

Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's most recent meeting in July - when the U.S. central bank cut interest rates for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis - are due on Wednesday.

"The minutes are going to set up a foundation of what to expect, and then Jackson Hole will provide clarity as to whether the Fed is finally coming to the party with potential monetary policy support," said IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda.

The U.S. central bank's two-day Jackson Hole seminar will be followed by a Group of Seven summit this weekend, and investors will look for clues on what additional steps policymakers may take to boost growth amid signs of a looming recession.

Futures are currently fully priced for a quarter-point cut in rates next month, and over 100 basis points of easing by the end of next year.

The minutes will also be important in terms of clarification the markets need because quite a lot of confusion came out after Fed Chair Jerome Powell provided contradictory messages, Rodda said.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he had to confront China over trade even if it caused short-term harm to the U.S. economy because Beijing had been cheating Washington for decades.

The remarks came hours before his government announced approval of a sale of fighter jets to Taiwan, a move sure to draw Beijing's ire and further dim prospects for a quick trade deal.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.21% to 845.17 tonnes on Tuesday.

Spot gold may retest a support at $1,497 per ounce, a break below which could cause a fall to $1,480, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback's value against a basket of six major currencies, was flat after drifting away from a three-week high hit on Monday.

Elsewhere, silver fell 0.3% to $17.07 per ounce, while platinum was down 0.4% to $845.08.

Palladium fell 0.7% to $1,481.13 per ounce.

(Reuters)


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