Gold rises more than 1% after Fed raises interest rates

  • Federal Reserve raises rates.
  • Gold down 4 percent from over 1-1/2-year high touched in January
  • Analysts see global political tensions supporting gold
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AP

Gold prices rose on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve approved a widely expected raise in interest rates.

While baseline forecasts of three more rate hikes this year were unchanged, the Fed hinted that the path of rate hikes could be more aggressive in the following two years.

Spot gold soared 1.28 percent at $1,327.64 an ounce at 2:14 p.m. EST, having dropped as low as $1,306.91 in the previous session. U.S. gold futures for April delivery shot up 1.17 percent to $1,327.

Spot gold was up 0.89 percent in the Wednesday session shortly before the Fed announced its decision.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, slipped 0.55 percent to 89.87 after climbing to its highest since March 1 in the previous session. A weaker greenback makes dollar-denominated assets such as gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.

The expectations for a faster pace of U.S. rate hikes have recently caused gold to fall 4 percent from a 1-1/2 year high reached in January. Higher U.S. interest rates typically reduce demand for non-yielding bullion, though analysts said that the possibility of an escalation in geopolitical tensions could cushion gold.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to unveil up to $60 billion in import duties on Chinese goods by Friday, following on from tariffs he imposed this month on imported steel and aluminum.

Investors are worried that Trump's actions could escalate into a trade war if China and other countries retaliate, threatening global growth.

Among other precious metals, silver added 1.74 percent at $16.467 an ounce while platinum rose 1.06 percent at $950.50 an ounce and palladium rose 1.02 percent to $988.47 an ounce.