WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Gold futures recorded their best settlement in more than six years on Wednesday, as expectations of a rate cut later this month weighed on the dollar and prompted investors to seek the safe haven commodity.
After two successive days of notable gains, the greenback eased today. The dollar index, which edged up slightly to 97.44 early on in the day, retreated to 97.16 later, losing about 0.25%.
Gold futures for August ended up $12.10, or about 0.9%, at $1,423.30 an ounce, the highest settlement since mid-May 2013.
On Tuesday, gold futures for August ended down $2.30, or about 0.2%, at $1,411.20 an ounce.
Silver futures for September ended up $0.293, at $15.971 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled higher by $0.0160, at $2.7160 per pound.
The Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told a dinner audience at the Bank of France in Paris on Tuesday the central bank is 'carefully monitoring' downside risks to U.S. growth and 'will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.'
Hopes about a steep cut in interest rate faded on Tuesday after data showed a bigger than expected increase in retail sales in June and factory output too rose more than expected in the month.
Traders were also following the developments on the trade fron. U.S. President Donald Trump, who said U.S. and China have 'a long way to go' for a deal to happen, also threatened to impose tariffs on another $325 billion worth of Chinese goods.
In economic news today, a report from the Commerce Department said housing starts slid by 0.9% to an annual rate of 1.253 million in June after slipping by 0.4% to a revised rate of 1.265 million in May.
Economists had expected housing starts to fall by 0.6% to a rate of 1.261 million from the 1.269 million originally reported for the previous month.
The report also said building permits plunged by 6.1% to an annual rate of 1.220 million in June after climbing by 0.7 percent to a revised rate of 1.299 million in May.
Economists had expected building permits to rise by 0.5% to a rate of 1.300 million from the 1.294 million originally reported for the previous month.
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