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Gold climbs as Fed chief stays dovish, dollar softens

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Gold climbed to a more than one-week high on Thursday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell struck a dovish tone, indicating much remains to be done before policy tightening begins, while a softer dollar lent further support to the metal.

Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,815.36 per ounce by 0322 GMT, having earlier hit a peak since July 20 at $1,817.35.

U.S. gold futures climbed 0.9% to $1,815.00.

“Investors are buying into the dynamic that the Federal Reserve has opened up for gold. They have talked down the risks of rate hike and tapering a little bit, and that gives gold prospects to drift higher in the short term,” said Kyle Rhoda, an analyst at IG Market.

“The next key level of resistance will be in the range of $1,830-$1,840.”

Powell said the U.S. job market still had “some ground to cover” before it would be time to pull back support and that it was “ways away” from considering interest rate hikes.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Investors will now turn their attention to the U.S. weekly jobless claims data due at 1230 GMT.

Powell’s remarks sent the U.S. dollar index to a more than two-week low. A weaker greenback makes gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.

U.S. Treasury yields also fell after the Fed gave no details on when it is likely to reduce bond purchases.

“Rising monetary policy uncertainty, inflation and increasing risk of equity market volatility should favour demand for safe-haven assets,” ANZ Research said in a note.

It said central banks had increased gold purchases in recent months, offsetting physical demand losses in the second quarter.

Elsewhere, silver gained 1.09% to $25.20 per ounce, platinum rose 0.9% to $1,073.66, and palladium was up 0.5% at $2,639.65.

Photo: A vendor at gold store organizes items at the gold store window in Istanbul, Turkey. EPA-EFE/ERDEM SAHIN