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Gold settles higher as US budget talks weaken dollar

Source: World Gold Council

Gold settled more than 1 percent higher on Wednesday as concerns about a potential U.S. government shutdown pulled the dollar lower.

U.S. lawmakers are seeking to approve legislation to keep most government offices running at the end of this month, when budgets are due to expire, but they have yet to find common ground.

Investors, surprised by last week's decision by the Federal Reserve not to trim its bond-buying stimulus, are uncertain over the central bank's next steps and how to interpret mixed signals from policymakers about the strength of the economy.

Spot gold rose 1 percent to $1,336 an ounce. U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled $19.90 higher at $1,336.20 an ounce, up 1.5 percent on the day, after a three-day fall.

"The U.S. debt talks were potentially seen as likely to increase safe-haven demand for gold but maybe the market has become so used to this discussion coming up every time at the end of the year that is not a massive factor anymore," Danske Bank analyst Christin Tuxen said.

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"On the other hand, we do still expect the Fed will taper in December ...the bond-buying reduction is certainly not cancelled but only postponed and that is still the focus," she added.

Bullion has fallen about 20 percent this year—after 12 years of gains—while the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled in May that it would begin tapering its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases by the end of 2013.

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