marketwatch-Gold prices ended higher Thursday, after back-to-back losses, as a closely followed dollar gauge steadied. June gold GCM7, +0.18% rose $3.30, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,256.40 an ounce. July silver SIN7, +0.16% rose 7.6 cents, or 0.4%, to $17.193 an ounce. Gold prices ended lower for a second-straight session Wednesday, pressured by the view toward monetary policy. After gold’s close, minutes from the Fed appeared to show that the majority of the central bank’s officials remain resolute about hiking rates at their meeting in June. Financial markets are currently pricing in an 83% probability of a rate rise then, according to CME’s FedWatch tool. The prospect of higher rates tends to weigh on gold, which doesn’t offer a yield. “Traders made much of voting members saying it is ‘prudent to await evidence [that the first-quarter] slowdown is transitory,’ brushing off an otherwise familiar cautiously hawkish tone,” said Ilya Spivak, commodities and currency strategist with Daily FX. “The U.S. dollar dropped alongside front-end Treasury bond yields, boosting the appeal of anti-fiat and non-interest-bearing assets” including gold. “Critically, investors’ priced-in outlook implied in Fed-funds futures still has a June rate hike as a near-certainty,” he said. “This hints that gold may find it difficult to extend gains unless the tidbit of reluctance that emerged in the minutes document is supported by hard economic data.” The ICE U.S. Dollar DXY, +0.16% was little changed near 97.20, with the dollar sputtering against major rivals though higher against so-called commodity currencies as oil prices CLN7, -5.14% LCON7, -4.95% fell in the wake of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ agreement to extend production cuts by nine months. U.S. stocks climbed, trying for a sixth-straight advance and cutting some interest in haven gold in favor of so-called risk-on assets including equities, which draw bids when investor sentiment is upbeat. Read: U.S. dollar rises against commodity currencies after OPEC agreement Higher interest rates tend to be dollar-supportive, cutting demand for dollar-priced gold for investors using other currencies. Higher rates also weigh on demand for nonyielding gold in favor of yield-bearing investments. Early Thursday, jobless-claims data showing that the U.S. labor market remains healthy eight years into an economic expansion appeared to support the expectation of a rate hike from the Fed as early as June. In other metals trading, July copper HGN7, +0.45% added 1.4 cents, or 0.5%, to $2.598 a pound. July platinum PLN7, +0.29% rose $5.60, or 0.6%, to $952.90 an ounce, while September palladium PAM7, +0.79% rose $7.30, or 1%, to $768.50 an ounce. The SPDR Gold Trust GLD, -0.09% fell 0.2%, while the iShares Silver Trust SLV, -0.34% shed 0.3%. The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF GDX, -1.07% declined by 1.9%.
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