Gold swings before Fed minutes amid signs of increased demand

Prices are trading near two-month highs

Gold fluctuated between gains and losses before the U.S. Federal Reserve releases minutes from its last meeting, which may provide clues on whether the pace of stimulus will be slowed amid signs of increased bullion demand.

Spot gold gained and fell at least 0.3 percent, and was 0.1 percent lower at $1,369.77 an ounce at 9:10 a.m. in Singapore. Prices rose to a two-month high of $1,384.55 on Aug. 19. Assets in the biggest exchange-traded product expanded for the fourth time this month, while the volume for Shanghai’s benchmark spot contract climbed to the highest in more than two weeks.

Gold has declined 18 percent this year on speculation that the Fed may cut the $85 billion in monthly asset purchases that helped bullion cap a 12-year bull run last year. Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s July 30-31 meeting due today may signal when policy makers plan to pare the debt-buying program as the U.S. economy strengthens. The Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Index added 0.1 percent after dropping 0.3 percent yesterday.

“Gold has benefited from the recent weakness in the dollar and investors are looking ahead to the Fed minutes before making their next move,” said Wang Xiaoli, chief investment strategist at CITICS Futures Co., a unit of China’s biggest listed brokerage. “The SPDR appears to be stabilizing and demand is strong in China whenever prices pull back.”

Chinese Demand

Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust increased to 914.12 metric tons yesterday, after last week capping the first weekly gain this year. In China, volumes for gold of 99.99 percent purity climbed to 10,926 kilograms yesterday, the highest since Aug. 2, according to data from the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

Gold for December delivery fell as much as 0.5 percent to $1,365.30 an ounce on the Comex and was at $1,368.70. Futures lost as much as 1 percent yesterday before ending up 0.5 percent.

Silver gained 0.2 percent to $23.0755 an ounce after dropping for two days. Spot platinum was at $1,519.65 an ounce from $1,519.30 yesterday, when prices rose 0.7 percent to halt two days of losses. Palladium was little changed at $749.80 an ounce.

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