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Gold futures edge higher ahead of Fed minutes, Bernanke

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Shutterstock photo - Gold futures edged higher to hold near a one-week high on Wednesday, as market players looked ahead to the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's June policy meeting later in the trading day, while a speech by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was also in focus.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery traded at USD1,251.95 a troy ounce during European morning hours, up 0.5% on the day.

Comex gold prices rose by as much as 0.6% earlier in the session to hit a daily high of USD1,253.75 a troy ounce.

Gold futures were likely to find support at USD1,180.35 a troy ounce, the low from June 28 and a 34-month low and near-term resistance at USD1,267.35, the high from July 2.

Investors will scrutinize the minutes of the Fed's June 18-19 meeting for further hints regarding the direction of U.S. monetary policy.

In addition, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to speak at a National Bureau of Economic Research conference in Boston later Wednesday.

Bernanke said last month the bank could begin tapering its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program by the end of 2013 and wind it down completely by the middle of 2014 if the economy picks up as the central bank expects.

Gold prices are on track to post a loss of 26% on the year, the worst yearly decline since 1981, amid speculation the Fed will start to unwind its stimulus program by the year's end.

Moves in the gold price this year have largely tracked shifting expectations as to whether the U.S. central bank would end its bond-buying program sooner-than-expected.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for September delivery eased up 0.4% to trade at USD19.21 a troy ounce, while copper for September delivery rose 0.5% to trade at USD3.081 a pound.

Copper's gains came despite the release of disappointing trade data out of China earlier in the day.

Official trade data showed that Chinese exports fell 3.1% from a year earlier in June, confounding expectations for a 4.0% increase.

The report also showed that imports declined 0.7%, bringing the country's trade surplus to USD27.1 billion for the month, broadly in line with expectations for a surplus of USD27 billion.

China is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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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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