Gold turns firm despite strong U.S. data, Yellen rate hike hints

Gold rose as the dollar came off its highs on Wednesday, shrugging off earlier pressure from stronger-than-forecast U.S. inflation and retail sales that added to expectations for near-term U.S. interest rate rises.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that delaying increases could leave the Fed’s policymaking committee behind the curve. On Wednesday, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker repeated his view that the central bank should continue to raise interest rates this year.

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Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. Spot gold was up 0.2 % at $1,231.06 an ounce by 3:14 p.m U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled up 0.6 % at $1,233.10.

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