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Gold prices jump above $1,200 on delayed Fed rate hike bets

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Gold futures jumped to the highest level since May in Europe trade on Thursday, amid growing skepticism over the Federal Reserve's ability to raise interest rates as much as it would like this year.

Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose to an intraday peak of $1,215.30 a troy ounce, a level not seen in almost nine months, before falling back to trade at $1,207.80 by 08:00GMT, or 3:00AM ET, up $13.30, or 1.11%. A day earlier, gold shed $4.00, or 0.33%.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that financial conditions have become less supportive to growth as foreign developments pose risks to the economic outlook, but also maintained that moderate growth at home would justify "gradual adjustments" to the Fed's monetary policy stance.

A gradual path to higher rates is seen as less of a threat to gold prices than a swift series of increases.

Gold futures have been well-supported in recent weeks amid indications global economic and financial headwinds could make it tough for the Fed to raise interest rates as much as it would like this year. Market participants have all but priced out any rate hikes this year, while the Fed is anticipating four more.

Yellen is scheduled to appear before the Senate Banking Committee at 15:00GMT, or 10:00AM ET, Thursday.

Prices of the precious metal are up almost 14% so far this year as investors seek safe havens in the face of mounting instability in other financial markets.

The U.S. dollar tumbled below the 113-level against the yen to hit the lowest level since November 2014, while U.S. and German sovereign bond prices surged, as anxiety over slowing growth, weak oil prices and tighter credit markets spurred a flight to safety.

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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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