Gold prices flat as traders brace for U.S. Fed minutes


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Gold prices were listless during early Asian hours on Wednesday, as investors awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December policy meeting that could offer hints on the U.S. central bank’s tightening path.

* Spot gold held its ground at $1,838.69 per ounce, as of 0023 GMT, after hitting a six-month peak in the previous session. U.S. gold futures dipped 0.1% to $1,843.60.

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* Minutes from the Fed’s December meeting are due at 1900 GMT on Wednesday. The U.S. central bank had raised rates by 50 basis points (bps) in December after four straight hikes of 75 bps each.

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* Bullion is seen as a hedge against inflation, but rising interest rates dull non-yielding asset’s appeal.

* China’s factory activity shrank at a sharper pace in December as surging COVID-19 infections disrupted production and weighed on demand after Beijing largely removed anti-virus restrictions, a private sector survey showed on Tuesday.

* British manufacturers are starting 2023 on the back foot, after they reported one of their sharpest falls in activity since the 2008-09 recession last month, reflecting a sharp fall in new orders and ongoing job cuts.

* Spot silver rose 0.2% to $24.03, platinum lost 0.4% to $1,079.71 and palladium gained 1% to $1,726.59.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0745 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY Dec 0850 France S&P Global Serv, Comp PMIs Dec 0855 Germany S&P Global Serv PMI Dec 0855 Germany S&P Global Comp Final PMI Dec 0900 EU S&P Global Serv, Comp Final PMIs Dec 1500 US ISM Manufacturing PMI Dec 1900 US Federal Open Market Committee issues minutes from its meeting of December 13-14, 2022 (Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)


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