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Gold ticks higher

LONDON: Gold hovered at slightly firmer levels on Wednesday as investors kept to the sidelines, confident that the US central bank would raise interest rates but unsure about what guidance it would give for next year.

Bullion was supported by a softer dollar ahead of a US Federal Reserve announcement later on Wednesday that markets overwhelmingly expect to detail a quarter-point rate increase.Spot gold was up 0.4 per cent at $1,162.46 an ounce by 1500 GMT and US gold futures added 0.5pc to $1,165.

Higher US rates raise the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and normally weigh on gold, but markets have already priced in a December rise.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback againstabasketofcurrencies, was down 0.2pc, extending losses following US data.US retail sales barely rose in November, suggesting some loss of momentum in economic growth in the fourth quarter, while US industrial production fell more than expected.

Silver was up 0.9pc at $17.05 after falling nearly 1pc in the previous session.

Platinum rose 1.3pc to $944.20 while Palladium dipped by 0.3pc to $727, having gained about 1pc on Tuesday.-Reuters