Gold near 7week high as traders see delay in US rate hike
Gold was trading near its highest in seven weeks on Monday, bolstered by expectations the Federal Reserve will not hike U.S. interest rates soon.FUNDAMENTALS* Spot gold was little changed at $1,156 an ounce by 0043 GMT, after gaining 1.6 percent in the previous session.* The metal climbed to $1,159.80 on Friday, its highest since Aug. 28, after minutes from the Fed’s September policy meet showed that the central bank was deeply cautious about tightening monetary policy.* Weakness in the dollar, which fell to a three-week low on Friday, also helped support gold. [USD/]* A delayed rate rise could support non-interest-paying gold, although uncertainty over the timing could weigh on prices in the near term.* Two influential Fed policymakers on Friday reinforced Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s message that a rate hike is coming by year’s end.* Fed policymakers are still likely to raise rates this year but that is “an expectation, not a commitment”, and could change if the global economy pushes the U.S. economy further off course, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said over the weekend.* Recent weak U.S. data and concerns over the global economy have prompted many to believe the first U.S. rate hike in nearly a decade will not come this year.* Hedge funds and money managers raised their bullish bets in COMEX gold and silver to four-month highs in the week ended Oct. 6, data on Friday showed, amid expectations the Fed will delay a much-anticipated rate hike.* Elsewhere, the London Bullion Market Association said on Friday it has formally asked exchanges and technology firms to bid for services such as a gold exchange or a clearing platform to make the London market more transparent and liquid.* South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union voted on Sunday to strike at the operations of AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold and Sibanye Gold.* Among other precious metals, platinum eased 0.2 percent to $976.99, but wasn’t too far from a three-week high of $983 reached in the previous session.* Palladium was down 0.4 percent on Monday after climbing to a near-four-month high of $722 on Friday.* Trading activity during Asian hours is likely to be thinner than usual with Japanese markets closed for a public holiday. U.S. markets will also be shut on Monday for a holiday.