Gold holds near 5-week highs, but potential U.S. rate hike drags

gold holds

Gold held steady on Thursday after hitting a five-week high in the previous session on geopolitical tensions, but expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike interest rates next month weighed on prices.

Spot gold was down 0.1 per cent at $1,267.32 per ounce. On Wednesday, it touched a session high of $1,273.74 an ounce, its strongest since April 25.

U.S. gold futures fell 0.3 per cent to $1,266.50.

The dollar languished near a recent 6.5 month low against a basket of major currencies on Thursday.

The U.S. economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace from early April through late May, but showed little sign of breaking out of a recent trend of sluggish inflation, a survey conducted by the Fed showed on Wednesday.

Federal funds futures implied traders saw an 87 per cent chance the U.S. central bank would increase key overnight borrowing costs by a quarter point, to 1.00-1.25 per cent, at its June 13-14 policy meeting, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.

Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes fell for a second straight month in April amid a supply squeeze, but the housing market recovery remains supported by a strong labors market.

U.S. President Donald Trump sought to insert himself into congressional investigations on Russia on Wednesday, urging lawmakers to hear from one of his former advisers, Carter Page, to counter testimony by directors of the FBI and CIA.

Prime Minister Theresa May could lose control of parliament in Britain's June 8 election, according to a projection by polling company YouGov, raising the prospect of political turmoil just as formal Brexit talks begin.

A consortium of investors led by China's Fosun International Ltd will buy a 10 per cent stake in Russia's top gold producer Polyus for $887 million, they said on Wednesday.

The U.S. Mint sold 14,500 ounces of American Eagle gold coins in May, up 141.7 per cent from the previous month, according to the latest data.

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