Gold prices eased on Wednesday, pulling back from the previous days three month highs as the firmer dollar weighed
Gold Prices Ease after Hitting 3-Month Highs – Gold prices eased on Wednesday, pulling back from the previous days three month highs as the firmer dollar weighed. Recent weakness in the dollar has supported gold prices by making the dollar-denominated metal cheaper for holders of other currencies. The index ended 2017 down 9.8%, the biggest annual percentage decline since 2003. The dollar weakened as the global economy gained momentum, fueling expectations for tighter monetary policy in other countries, which would lessen the divergence between the Federal Reserve and other central banks. Market watchers were looking ahead to the minutes of the Fed’s December meeting, where its raised interest rates, which were due to be released later on Wednesday. Two policymakers voted against the rate hike amid doubts inflation would accelerate as hoped. Investors were also looking ahead to Friday’s U.S. job figures for December.
Crude Oil Prices Steady Near Multi-Year Highs – Crude oil prices steadied near multi-year highs on Wednesday, even as concerns over geopolitical tensions began to ease, as supply cut efforts by global oil producers continued to support the commodity. Oil prices had climbed amid Iranian protests, marking the biggest challenge to the country’s clerical leadership since 2009. However, the protests were showing no signs of impacting Iran’s oil production. Crude prices continued to be supported by production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia. The producers agreed in December to extend current oil output cuts until the end of 2018. The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) was adopted last winter by OPEC, Russia and nine other global producers. The agreement was due to end in March 2018, having already been extended once.
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