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Gold Prices Gain In Asia As Fed Minutes Seen Slightly Dovish

Gold up in Asia - Gold gained in Asia as the Fed appears on track for a December rate hike, but set a somewhat overall dovish tone on the track for 2018 in minutes released overnight.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.65% to $1,297.32 a troy ounce.

Federal Reserve policymakers had a prolonged debate about the prospects of a pickup in inflation and slowing the path of future interest rate rises if it did not, according to the minutes of the U.S. central bank's last policy meeting on Sept. 19-20 released on Wednesday.

The readout of the meeting, at which the Fed announced it would begin this month to reduce its large bond portfolio mostly amassed following the financial crisis and unanimously voted to hold rates steady, also showed that officials remained mostly sanguine about the economic impact of recent hurricanes.

"Many participants expressed concern that the low inflation readings this year might reflect... the influence of developments that could prove more persistent, and it was noted that some patience in removing policy accommodation while assessing trends in inflation was warranted," the Fed said in the minutes.

As such several said that they would focus on incoming inflation data over the next few months when deciding on future interest rate moves. Nevertheless, many policymakers still felt that another rate increase this year "was likely to be warranted," the Fed said.

Japan reported PPI figures for September rose 0.2% as expected on month.

Gold is sensitive to moves higher in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Overnight, gold prices dipped below breakeven on Wednesday amid easing geopolitical uncertainty but losses were capped by dollar weakness following labor market data that undershot expectations.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said Tuesday that the declaration of independence would be suspended, in order to allow for talks with Spain to continue.

The dip in geopolitical uncertainty, however, was offset by a continued dollar weakness after labor market data fell short of expectations.

The U.S. Labor Department's latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTs) report, a measure of labor demand, showed job openings in August fell to 6.082m, falling short of expectations of 6.125m.

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