Gold prices hold steady as markets await Fed minutes
By Sumita Layek (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Wednesday as investors awaited the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting, which is expected to provide further clues on stimulus measures amid rapid surge in coronavirus cases. Spot gold were little changed at $1,647.93 per ounce by 11:01 a.m
By Sumita Layek
(Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Wednesday as investors awaited the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting, which is expected to provide further clues on stimulus measures amid rapid surge in coronavirus cases.
Spot gold were little changed at $1,647.93 per ounce by 11:01 a.m. EDT (1501 GMT), having hit a near one-month high on Tuesday at $1,671.40. U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,687.90.
"As countries and federal governments stimulate their economies with helicopter money, stimulus programs - it's a printing press of money supply, which is generally a very favourable environment for gold," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.
Wall Street's main indexes opened higher for the third straight session, on hopes that the coronavirus outbreak in the United States was nearing its peak and expectations the Congress will push through more aid for the battered economy.
Focus now shifts to minutes of the Fed's latest meeting at 1800 GMT.
"Sure, we're all going to be very interested in seeing where the Fed lies on their interest rate path. (But) I think we're more focused on fiscal stimulus plans as opposed to monetary stimulus plans," Meger said.
The pandemic has infected more than 1.38 million people across the world and 81,451 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the United States might be getting to the top of the "curve" of the coronavirus outbreak and reiterated that he wants to get the U.S. economy reopened soon.
"The U.S. and Europe are hoping the models suggesting the next week will be the worst, regarding new virus infections, are correct, and that the curve will have then peaked for them," Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said in a note.
"Technically, the gold bulls have the solid overall near-term technical advantage amid a price uptrend in place ... that strongly suggests the path of least resistance for prices will remain sideways to higher for at least the near term and probably longer."
Market participants are also eyeing Thursday's meeting of members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, which could result in further output cuts to shore up oil prices that have tumbled.
Elsewhere, palladium climbed 0.4% to $2,184.90 an ounce, while platinum eased 0.1% to $733.26.
Silver fell 0.3% to $14.96 an ounce, having touched a more than three-week high in the previous session.
(Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.