Futures & Commodities

Spot gold gains after Fed minutes; futures end higher

Reuters with CNBC.com
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Spot gold extended earlier gains on Wednesday after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's most recent policy meeting showed the central bank has begun detailing how it plans to ease the U.S. economy out of an era of loose monetary policy.

The minutes from the June 17-18 meeting indicate the Fed envisions using its overnight repurchase agreements in tandem with the interest it pays banks on excess reserves to set a ceiling and floor for its target interest rate.

Though no decisions have been announced, the discussion has become detailed enough for Fed officials to contemplate the proper spread between the two - mentioned in the minutes as 20 basis points.

After the announcement, rose 0.8 percent to $1,329 an ounce.

U.S. gold futures for August delivery settled $7.80 higher at $1,324.30 an ounce, logging its first daily gain in four sessions.

Prices are up nearly 10 percent this year, after tumbling in 2013 on expectations that U.S. monetary policy would gradually normalize after economic data showed signs of strengthening.

Chart: Precious Metals

Platinum and palladium outperformed gold and silver, with palladium holding near the previous sessions's near 13-1/2-year high.

Spot platinum was up 0.9 percent at $1,500 an ounce, while spot palladium was up 0.4 percent at $870 an ounce. On Wednesday it peaked at $873.75 an ounce, its highest since February 2001.

This month's strong car sales data has helped support a rebound in demand for the autocatalyst metal from U.S. and Chinese carmakers, analysts said, the main consumers of palladium.

—By Reuters with CNBC