Published: Sun, August 20, 2017
Money | By Charlene Sutton

US Fed can 'be patient' in raising rates: minutes

US Fed can 'be patient' in raising rates: minutes

Gold rose for a second day on Thursday after Federal Reserve officials hinted that USA interest rates could rise more slowly than expected, while palladium was lifted to a 16-year high by strong industrial metals markets.

Wall Street closed slightly firmer on Wednesday but off the day's highs after Federal Reserve minutes suggested policymakers are anxious about weak inflation but eager to commence an unwind of its $4.5 trillion asset portfolio. Investors also responded to solid economic data, including a better-than-expected report on retail sales on Tuesday.

Sellers emerged when Trump disbanded two high-profile advisory councils after several CEOs quit to protest his comments about violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

At 9:43 a.m. ET (1343 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 63.63 points, or 0.29 percent, at 21,961.24 and the S&P 500 was down 5.06 points, or 0.21 percent, at 2,463.05.

"If they don't start selling their asset portfolio in September, which is what they have indicated, that will be a negative signal to the markets", said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network in Waltham, Massachusetts.

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The Nasdaq Composite was down 18.57 points, or 0.29 percent, at 6,326.54.

The minutes said "some participants... argued against additional adjustments" until the Fed was sure that inflation was on track to meet its 2% target.

The aussie is now trading higher by 0.2 percent against the U.S. dollar to 0.7926, recovering from a one-month low of 0.78509 it fell to on Tuesday.

- The Stoxx Europe 600 index added 0.7 percent to 379.09, the highest in a week.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major peers, dropped 0.2 percent to 93.357 after Wednesday's 0.3 percent loss. "The increasing odds of the USA interest rate hike could push the gold price below the $1,250 level and this could happen if the upcoming [Fed] minutes deliver some hawkish tone".

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Treasury yields reached one-week peaks earlier Wednesday in line with their European counterparts on stronger-than-forecast annual growth in the eurozone.

The dollar continued its positive start to week, as solid retail sales data on Tuesday overshadowed a slump in USA housing data amid growing expectations the Fed will increase interest rates for a third time later this year.

Gold for December delivery closed up 0.7% at $1,292.40 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures rose 0.43 percent to trade at $51.02 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures gained 0.29 percent to trade at $47.69 a barrel.

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