By Ira Iosebashvili
Gold prices turned higher Wednesday, boosted by a weaker dollar and doubts over whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates a third time this year.
Gold for December delivery was recently up 0.1% at $1,345.30 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were as low as $1,340.60 a troy ounce earlier in the session.
In a speech Tuesday, Fed governor Lael Brainard said the U.S. central bank should be cautious about raising interest rates amid the economy's "persistent failure" to reach its 2% inflation target. The comments continued to weigh on the dollar Wednesday, boosting gold, which is priced in the U.S. currency and becomes less expensive to foreign buyers when the dollar declines.
Expectations that the Fed will raise rates gradually are also a boon for gold, which struggles to compete with yield-bearing investments when borrowing costs rise. Rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have also boosted demand for the haven metal, contributing to a 15% gain in gold this year.
In base metals, copper prices rose 0.6% to $3.1470 a pound, hovering near their highest level in almost three years.
Analysts at Capital Economics warned in a note to clients that this year's nearly 25% surge in copper prices may be vulnerable to a sharp correction if investor sentiment turns.
That could occur as a result of a spike in the dollar or indications that China's economy may be faltering, the firm said. China is the world's leading copper consumer, accounting for some 45% of global demand.
Write to Ira Iosebashvili at [email protected]