MANILA Gold held near its highest level since November early on Thursday after the Federal Reserve said it was closely eyeing the global economy amid weakness seen from China to Europe.
After keeping U.S. interest rates unchanged as expected, Fed policymakers said the economy was still on track for moderate growth and a stronger labour market even with "gradual" rate increases, suggesting its concern about global events had diminished but not squashed chances of a rate hike in March.
* Spot gold XAU= was off 0.2 percent at $1,122.46 an ounce by 0041 GMT, not far below Wednesday's peak of $1,127.80, the highest since Nov. 3.
* U.S. gold for February delivery GCcv1 gained 0.6 percent to $1,122.40 per ounce.
* "The committee is closely monitoring global economic and financial developments and is assessing their implications for the labour market and inflation," the Fed said in its policy statement following a two-day meeting.
* "Although the Fed's comments were not as dovish as hoped, the continued expectation that future interest rate rises will be slow and gradual will support" gold, MKS Group trader James Gardiner wrote to clients.
* New U.S. single-family home sales surged in December to their highest in 10 months, the latest indication that the housing sector remains on a firmer footing despite a massive stock market sell-off and slowing economic growth.
* Germany's Bundesbank took more than 200 tonnes of its gold back to Frankfurt from overseas last year, the central bank said, as it moves towards hoarding half of the world's second-largest reserve at home.
* For the top stories on metals and other news, click [TOP/MTL] or [GOL]
* Asian share markets slipped after a late selloff on Wall Street as investors were concerned the Federal Reserve might continue raising rates despite a turbulent backdrop for financial markets and much of the global economy. [MKTS/GLOB]
* The U.S. dollar was mixed versus major currencies and U.S. crude futures fell more than 1 percent. [USD/] [O/R]
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Ed Davies)
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