Gold Futures Settle Higher As Dollar Continues To Slide

Gold prices climbed higher on Wednesday as the U.S. dollar continued to drift lower amid hopes the Federal Reserve will slow down the pace of interest rate hikes at upcoming policy meetings.

Data on Tuesday showed U.S. consumer confidence ebbed in October and home prices fell sharply in August, adding to recent signs that the Fed's aggressive tightening stance was starting to cool the world's largest economy.

Investors are pricing in a smaller rate hike in December after a 75 basis point increase in November.

Already, a few Fed officials have softened their stance on tightening.

The dollar index dropped to 109.65 before recovering some lost ground. Still, at 109.85, the index is down nearly 1% from the previous close.

Gold futures for December ended higher by $11.20 or about 0.7% at $1,669.20 an ounce.

Silver futures for December ended up $0.137 at $19.486 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $3.5450 per pound, up $0.1480 from the previous close.

In U.S. economic news today, data released by the Commerce Department showed new home sales in the U.S. pulled back sharply in September after unexpectedly skyrocketing in August, although the decrease was smaller than expected.

The report showed new home sales tumbled by 10.9% to an annual rate of 603,000 in September after soaring by 24.7% to a revised rate of 677,000 in August. Economists had expected new home sales to plunge by 14.6% to a rate of the 685,000 originally reported for the previous month.

Third-quarter U.S. GDP data, due later this week, is expected to offer more clues on the economic and rate outlook.

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