Gold near three-week low as Fed rate hike expectations boost dollar
Gold was trading near a three-week low on Thursday as the dollar stood tall after minutes from the Federal Reserve policy meeting showed the US central bank could raise rates as soon as next month.
* Spot gold XAU= was little changed at $1,258 per ounce at 0038 GMT. The metal fell 1.7 percent in the previous session, hitting a three-week low of $1,254.65.
* US gold futures GCcv1 fell 1.2 percent to $1,259.30.
* Fed officials felt the US economy could be ready for another interest rate increase in June, according to the minutes from the central bank's April policy meeting released on Wednesday.
* The suggestion that a rate increase in June is firmly on the table suggests the Fed is closer to tightening monetary policy again than Wall Street had expected. The Fed lifted rates in December for the first time in nearly a decade.
* Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding it. It has rallied nearly 20 percent this year on expectations that the Fed has slowed the pace of rate hikes due to global uncertainty.
* The dollar raced to multi-week highs on Wednesday after the release of the Fed minutes. A stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies. [USD/]
* SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.56 percent to 855.89 tonnes on Tuesday. [GOL/ETF]
* China's ICBC Standard Bank has let go three precious metals traders in New York and will move its Dubai business to London, concentrating its activities in Europe and Asia, four sources with knowledge of the matter said.
* Thailand will formally notify the Australian operator of the country's only active gold mine by the end of May of a government order to halt operations, a senior industry ministry official said on Wednesday.