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Metals Edge Higher on Weaker Dollar

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03/17/2017 | 04:07pm CEST
By Ed Ballard 

Metals prices rose Friday as hints of a slower pace of U.S. interest-rate increases continued to weigh on the dollar.

Gold for April delivery was up 0.2% at $1,229.50 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, trading near a two-week high. Copper for May delivery rose 0.3% to $2.6865 a pound, also on track to close at the highest level in two weeks.

The WSJ Dollar Index was 0.1% lower, making dollar-priced assets cheaper for holders of other currencies, having fallen more than 1% since the U.S. Federal Reserve lifted interest rates Wednesday. The commentary accompanying the rate rise was less assertive about the prospect for more increases this year than dollar bulls had expected.

"It's a dollar story based on the commentary around Fed action," said Nitesh Shah, commodities strategist at ETF Securities. "It was less hawkish than people expected."

Looking ahead, he said the dollar will likely continue to dominate commodities markets next week, which brings speeches from Fed officials including Chairwoman Janet Yellen, as well as data that will shed light on the strength of the world's largest economy, including durable goods orders and a purchasing managers index.

Stephanie Yang contributed to this article

Write to Ed Ballard at ed.ballard@wsj.com

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