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Gold off 11-week highs after Fed signals more U.S. rate hikes

Reuters  |  BENGALURU 

By Verma

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Gold eased off multi-week highs on Thursday as minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting raised expectations of a faster pace of U.S. rate hikes, but concerns about possible U.S. military action against limited losses.

After rising for four previous sessions, spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,350.70 an ounce as of 0319 GMT and U.S. gold futures fell 0.4 percent to $1,354.5 an ounce.

All of the Federal Reserve's policymakers felt that the U.S. economy would firm further and that inflation would rise in the coming months, minutes of the central bank's last policy meeting on March 20-21 released on Wednesday showed.

Higher interest rates discourage the buying of non-interest-paying bullion, which is priced in dollars.

Gold on Wednesday rose 1 percent and hit a high of $1,365.23 an ounce, its highest since Jan. 25.

"While we expect volatility to remain high, gold will stay supported so as long as U.S. military option remains on the table, gold will continue bid," said Stephen Innes, for in

"But we could see prices rocket higher if both the and get drawn into the fracas siding with in escalations with A test of $1,400+ would be on the cards immediately."

U.S. warned on Wednesday of imminent military action in over a suspected poison gas attack, declaring that missiles "will be coming" and lambasting for standing by Syrian

Gold is often used as a store of value during times of financial or political uncertainty.

Also underpinning bullion were lingering worries about a trade war between and the

will not hesitate to fight back if the escalates its trade spat with Beijing, the commerce ministry said on Thursday, asserting that Chinese Xi Jinping's pledge to cut import tariffs is not a concession to

Among other precious metals, silver was steady at $16.63 an ounce, after hitting $16.87 in the previous session, a near two-month high.

gained 0.3 percent to $929 per ounce and palladium fell 0.5 percent to $959.72 per ounce.

Palladium has surged 6 percent this week on the back of concerns that supply from number one could be hurt by sanctions imposed by the

(Reporting by Verma in Bengaluru; editing by and Sunil Nair)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 10:04 IST