Investing.com - Gold prices rose on Thursday as bullish investors took the Federal Reserve's latest hawkish talk in stride and targeted the $1,250 level in a bid to recapture ground lost earlier in the year.
Spot bullion and gold futures were both on track for a third-straight week of gains, again defying a stronger dollar in one of the most extraordinary performances in recent times. Gold is normally a contrarian bet against the dollar.
The dollar index, a measure of the greenback's strength against a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.3%, boosted by the Fed's release on Wednesday of minutes from its September policy meeting. The minutes showed the central bank planned to gradually increase interest rates in December and beyond.
U.S. gold futures' most-actively-traded contract, December, settled up $2.70, or 0.2%, at $1,230.10 on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was on track to a gain of 1% on the week after the three-month high of $1,236.90 hit on Monday.
"All things considered, the reaction in gold and silver to the 'more hawkish than expected' Fed stance suggests to us that precious metals have already factored in the eventuality of a return-to-normal rate structure," ADMIS, the commodity brokering arm of global commodities merchant ADM, said in a note.
COMEX silver for December initially rallied on Thursday before settling down 5.9 cents at $14.64 a pound.
After falling from a 2018 peak of $1,343.80 in February, gold returned to $1,200 in August, reaffirming its position as the safe haven of choice for risk-averse investors. Since then, it has more or less held its ground there, supported by a surfeit of geopolitical tensions, China's trade war with the United States and Italy's budget woes that could affect the eurozone. U.S. bond yields rallying to multiyear highs have also taken some wind out of the dollar's sails, propping up gold.
This week, particularly, gold has seen strong support from speculators attempting to push it to $1,250 or beyond ahead of the expiration of options on Oct. 25.