Investing.com – Gold prices held steady near two-week highs on Wednesday, remaining supported above the psychologically important $1,200 level even as fears over Italy’s budget woes faded, bolstering risk appetite.
December were little changed at $1,207.9 by 09:39 AM ET (13:39 GMT) on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Prices of the yellow metal remained supported even after reports that Italy appeared to be revising its budget plans.
Prices had rallied 1.29% to settle at $1,202.4 on Tuesday as fears over Italy’s budget deficits and high debt levels spooked investors, spurring safe haven demand for bullion.
The precious metal had ended the third quarter down 4.6% after falling 0.9% in September as rising U.S. interest rates and the dollar’s march higher in 2018 weighed.
The U.S. dollar was a touch higher, with the , which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, up 0.11% to 95.23.
Interest rate increases and higher U.S. bond yields dampen appeal for gold, which offers no yield. They also tend to boost the dollar, making dollar-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.
The Federal Reserve is expected to hike rates for what would be a fourth time this year in December and investors were looking ahead to Friday’s government jobs report for any indication that fresh policy tightening is in the offing.
Earlier Wednesday, a report showed that added 230,000 jobs in September, well above economists’ expectations, indicating that the labor market remains robust.
Elsewhere in metals trading, December advanced 0.59% to $14.78 a troy ounce, while January was trading at $838.6, up 0.6% for the day.
Among base metals, December dipped 0.09% to trade at $2.801.
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