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Gold Futures Extend Gains To 9th Straight Session

Gold futures settled higher on Wednesday, extending gains to a ninth consecutive session, thanks to continued safe-haven demand amid the relentless surge in coronavirus cases across the world.

The dollar's retreat also contributed to gold's advance. The dollar index, which rebounded on Tuesday after recent losses, slipped to 93.28, losing more than 0.4%.

After ending the session at fresh record closing high, gold futures gained further ground in electronic trading after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it plans to keep interest rates near zero until the economy improves.

Gold futures for August gained $8.80 or about 0.5% to settle at $1,953.40 an ounce.

Silver futures for September advanced $0.021 to $24.321 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $2.9190 per pound, gaining $0.0015 for the session.

A report released by the National Association of Realtors said pending home sales in the U.S. showed a significant increase in the month of June. NAR said its pending home sales index surged up by 16.6% to 116.1 in June after skyrocketing by 44.3% to 99.6 in May. Economists had expected pending home sales to jump by 15%.

In a widely expected move, the Federal Reserve announced today that interest rates will remain at near-zero levels amid the economic hardship imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Fed said it decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at zero to 0.25%, where it has remained since an emergency rate cut on March 15.

The accompanying statement noted economic activity and employment have picked up somewhat in recent months following sharp declines but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year.

The central bank partly attributed the recent improvement in overall financial conditions to policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses.

The Fed also reiterated that it remains committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time.

In addition to keeping interest rates at current levels until it is confident the economy has weathered recent events, the Fed said it will also continue to increase its holdings of Treasury securities and agency residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities at least at the current pace.

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