Gold Prices Lower Ahead Of Federal Reserve Minutes

London (Oct 11)  Gold prices were lower on Wednesday as investors awaited the minutes of the Federal Reserve's September policy meeting later in the day, which were expected to reinforce expectations for a December rate hike.

Comex gold futures were down $3.82, or around 0.3%, to $1,290.01 a troy ounce by 03:21 AM ET (07:21 AM GMT).

Expectations that the Fed will raise interest rates in December pressured prices lower. At its September meeting, the Fed indicated that it intends to raise rates once more this year and three times in 2018. Interest rate futures are currently pricing in around a 90% chance of a December rate hike, according to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Gold struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets like Treasuries as borrowing costs rise. The losses came after gold prices advanced in the previous three sessions, rebounding after a recent sell-off that was fueled by interest rate concerns and a stronger dollar.

Heightened geopolitical tensions in North Korea and Spain since the start of the week had also underpinned safe haven demand for the precious metal. Many investors favor gold during times of uncertainty or upheaval.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures were almost flat at $17.12 a troy ounce, while platinum slipped 0.22% to $934.40 and palladium rose 0.39% to $937.23 an ounce.

Among base metals, copper for December delivery was little changed at $3.061 a pound.

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