Gold slips as dollar firms after Fed policy statement

Gold eased to a one-week low on Thursday, as a recovery in the dollar and improved appetite for riskier assets pushed investors away from bullion.

Spot gold fell 0.13 percent to $1,224.09 per ounce, after touching its lowest since Nov. 1 at $1,219.59 earlier in the session.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled down $3.60 at $1,225.10 per ounce. The dollar rose more than half a percent against a basket of currencies.

"Gold is unquestionably dollar-watching, and by extension looking at the (interest) rates," said Ross Norman, chief executive officer of Sharps Pixley. "The market is drifting a little lower today on expectations of further rate hikes. If the rates go higher, it is a slightly negative story for gold."

The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged, as expected. Although the Fed kept rates steady, market participants looked for clues about possible rate increases in December and in 2019.

Higher interest rates raise the opportunity costs of holding gold, which earns nothing and costs money to store and insure.

"A failure to continue the momentum a little higher could see gold moving back to the psychologically (important) $1,200 level," Norman said.

The precious metal remains down more than 10 percent from its April peak after investors preferred the dollar as the U.S.-China trade war unfolded against a background of higher U.S. interest rates.

The dollar extended its recovery following a sigh of relief across markets after the U.S. midterm election results, and as investors turned their attention towards the Fed.

Gold is on track to post a fifth straight session of losses, hurt more broadly by a recovery in investor appetite for nominally higher-risk assets like stocks.

"Risk appetite in the world marketplace is mostly upbeat following the U.S. mid-term elections that produced a divided Congress," Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said in a note.

"A rebound in the U.S. dollar index today, following selling pressure this week, is working against the precious metals market bulls."

Silver fell 1.12 percent to $14.41 per ounce.

Palladium rose 1.14 percent to $1,120.70 per ounce. It touched a two-week high of $1,139.50 an ounce in the previous session.

Platinum was down 1.42 percent at $860.25 an ounce, after hitting its highest since June 25 at $877.50 an ounce on Wednesday.