Reuters – Gold steadied on Thursday, having risen nearly 1% in the previous session, as the dollar sank after minutes from the US Federal Reserve's (Fed) latest policy meeting dampened the outlook for interest rate hikes next year.
The dollar nursed losses after posting its biggest drop in five months on Wednesday after the Fed minutes showed "many participants" were concerned inflation would stay below the bank's 2% target for longer than expected.
“Gold is obviously still in need of a spark but we still see a chance of it reaching our year-end target of $1,325," said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.
“The outlook for inflation is still low, long yields will remain subdued and then we have geopolitical risks rising this year. That's enough to prompt investors to buy gold, even though the growth outlook is still strong across the world."
Spot gold was broadly flat at $1,292.63 per ounce by 13.37 GMT, up 0.08% on the session.
Trading was lighter than usual on Thursday, with Japanese financial markets shut for a public holiday.
US markets will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
In wider markets, Chinese stocks suffered their biggest slump in almost two years, taking the shine off another record high in the global equity bull run and offering underlying support for gold, seen as a safe-haven asset.
Low-yielding currencies such as the Japanese yen and the Swiss Franc remained firmly supported against the dollar as investors shied away from taking positions in a holiday-shortened week.
Earlier in the week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen stuck by her prediction that US inflation would soon rebound, but offered an unusually strong caveat, pointing to uncertainty and the possibility that prices could remain low for years to come.
A weaker dollar makes dollar-priced gold cheaper for non-US investors.