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Gold falls on hawkish Federal Reserve minutes

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Shutterstock photo - - Gold prices traded lower on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve's July policy meeting minutes revealed that rate hikes could come sooner rather than later if the job market continues to improve.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery traded at 1,290.10 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, down 0.51%, up from a session low of $1,288.90 and off a high of $1,298.90.

The December contract settled down 0.20% at $1,296.70 on Tuesday.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,283.30 a troy ounce, the low from Aug. 5, and resistance at $1,304.90, Monday's high.

The Federal Reserve voted to leave benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.00-0.25% and added it would cut its monthly bond-buying program to $25 billion from $35 billion at its July 29-30 meeting.

The Fed said that the overall economy is improving, though slackness remains in the labor market despite growth, which prompted monetary authorities to continue tapering its asset-purchasing program by only $10 billion per policy meeting.

The Fed's stimulus bond-buying program is seen concluding around October, and rate hikes are expected in 2015, though the timing of the latter remains up in the air.

While some monetary authorities favored studying more data before deciding, others felt action should come sooner rather than later.

"Many participants noted that if convergence toward the Committee's objectives occurred more quickly than expected, it might become appropriate to begin removing monetary policy accommodation sooner than they currently anticipated," the minutes released earlier Wednesday read.

"Indeed, some participants viewed the actual and expected progress toward the Committee's goals as sufficient to call for a relatively prompt move toward reducing policy accommodation to avoid overshooting the Committee's unemployment and inflation objectives over the medium term," the minutes added.

Gold prices fell on the news, as Fed bond purchases and rock-bottom interest rates bolster the yellow metal's appeal as a hedge to a weaker dollar.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said that the U.S. economy is improving though monetary authorities continue to note slackness in the labor market, though the minutes revealed some monetary authorities feel that slackness may be absorbed in the near future.

"Many members noted, however, that the characterization of labor market underutilization might have to change before long, particularly if progress in the labor market continued to be faster than anticipated."

Meanwhile, silver for September delivery was up 0.16% at $19.443 a troy ounce, while copper futures for September delivery were up 2.65% at $3.170 a pound. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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