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Gold prices gain in Asia as investors cautious ahead of Fed next week

CommoditiesSep 08, 2015 07:35PM ET
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© Reuters. Gold up in Asia - Gold prices rose mildly in Asia on Wednesday with investors cautious ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting on interest rates.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for December delivery rose 0.09% to $1,122 a troy ounce, while silver for December delivery gained 0.30% to $14.80 a troy ounce.

Copper for December delivery gained 0.10% to $2.434 a pound.

Overnight, gold inched up on Tuesday to snap a five-day losing streak, as continuing woes in the Chinese economy and the timing of a potential interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve remain in focus.

In China, its dollar-denominated exports fell sharply by 5.5% on a year-over-year basis in August, exacerbating concerns about persisting weakness in the world's second-largest economy. Imports, meanwhile, tumbled 13.8% on a yearly basis, producing a trade surplus of $60.24 billion. The Shanghai Composite index still rallied by more than 4.5% in the final hour of trading to erase losses from Monday's session and close up by approximately 3%.

On Monday, the index closed down by more than 2.5% as news reverberated that China revised its GDP growth rate for 2015 downward from 7.4% to 7.3%. Many economists expect Chinese GDP growth to fall below 7% for the third quarter after barely reaching the threshold over the first two quarters of the year. China is currently experiencing its lowest rate of economic growth in more than a decade.

Gold was relatively flat on Monday in a lightly traded session, as American markets remained closed for the Labor Day holiday. China is the world's largest producer of gold and the second-largest consumer of the precious metal.

For the most part, commodity traders are reluctant to execute any major trades before the Federal Open Market Committee completes its two-day September meeting on Sept. 17. Analysts believe there is a 50-50 chance the FOMC could raise its benchmark Federal Funds Rate for the first time since 2006.

At a panel discussion late last month in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fed vice chairman Stanley Fischer indicated there is good reason to believe that inflation will move higher as the temporary forces restraining it continue to "dissipate further." Core PCE inflation, the Fed's preferred gauge of price increases, has still remained under its long-term targeted goal of 2% for every month over the last three years. The core reading of PCE inflation strips out the heavy impact of food and energy prices.

Gold, which is not attached to dividends or interest rates, struggles to compete with high-yield bearing assets in periods of rising rates.

Gold prices gain in Asia as investors cautious ahead of Fed next week

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