Gold Holds Near 7-Month Highs

Gold prices edged higher to above $1850 an ounce on Wednesday, holding at June highs, as investors digest the latest FOMC minutes. Fed policymakers said no interest rate cuts are expected this year and that a restrictive monetary policy would be necessary but left the door open for slower interest rate increases. Meanwhile, concerns over the health of the US economy also supported the metal. The ISM Manufacturing PMI showed factory activity contracted for a second month in December while the gauge of prices paid by factories for inputs fell to the lowest level in more than 2-1/2 years. Elsewhere, fresh data for France and Germany suggested inflation in Europe may have peaked.

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