By Ira Iosebashvili
Gold prices fell in aftermarket trading Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting showed the central bank mulling a faster pace of rate increases this year.
Gold for January delivery was recently down 0.3% at $1,312.10 a troy ounce in electronic trading. Prices closed up 0.2% at $1,316.20 a troy ounce in regular trading on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Federal Reserve officials in December debated whether new tax cuts would require them to raise short-term interest rates faster this year after lifting them three times last year, the minutes showed. Gold struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates rise.
The hawkish headlines are giving investors an excuse to lock in recent gains, said George Gero, managing director at RBC Capital Markets, in a note to clients.
Gold had its best year since 2010 last year with a 14% gain, boosted by a weakening dollar and political tensions around the world.
Investors are also awaiting Friday's U.S. employment report on whether stronger economic growth is stimulating higher wages.
In base metals, copper for January delivery was down 0.6% to $3.2370 a pound.
Write to Ira Iosebashvili at [email protected]