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PRECIOUS-Gold edges higher as investors shrug off U.S. rate rise

Gold prices edged higher on Thursday but remained locked in a narrow range near 1-1/2-year lows after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates and said it planned four more increases by the end of next year and another in 2020.

Gold is sensitive to higher U.S. interest rates because they tend to boost the dollar, making gold more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

Investors had anticipated the rate rise and outlook, but the removal of the word “accommodative” from a Fed statement helped to strengthen the dollar slightly and push gold lower.

Gold would likely continue in the short term to trade between $1,190 and $1,210 an ounce as it has throughout September, he said.

Gold is down more than 12 percent from an April high, largely due to a stronger dollar, which has been boosted by a vibrant U.S. economy, expectations of higher interest rates and fears of a global trade war.

On the technical side, resistance for gold was at its 50-day moving average at $1,204.50 and Fibonacci support was at $1,185.30, analysts at ScotiaMocatta said.


Italy budget uncertainty returns to haunt Europe

By Marc Jones

Europe’s share markets and the euro both took a tumble on Thursday as a report that Italy’s long-awaited budget was facing a delay compounded an already groggy global mood after the third U.S. interest rate rise of the year.

Investors have been anxious about Italy’s budget which some fear could lead to a blowout of the country’s deficit, and put the coalition government on a collision course with the European Union.

The euro skidded all the way down past $1.17 in the currency market. That fall also gave the dollar a boost after it had only managed a lazy gain overnight after the Federal Reserve hiked U.S. interest rates by another 25 basis points to a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent.


Oil rises 1 percent ahead of shortfall in Iran supply

By Amanda Cooper

Oil prices rose by nearly 1 percent on Thursday, driven by the prospect of a shortfall in global supply once U.S. sanctions against major crude exporter Iran come into force in just five weeks’ time.
U.S. President Donald Trump this week demanded that OPEC raise production to prevent further price rises ahead of key congressional elections in early November.

Analysts say the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and partner Russia appear unlikely at this point to respond immediately to Trump’s demands, while U.S energy secretary Rick Perry has also ruled out using U.S. strategic crude reserves as a means of lowering the price.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia will quietly add extra oil to the market over the next couple of months to offset a drop in Iranian production but is worried it might need to limit output next year to balance global supply and demand as the United States pumps more crude.

OPEC has little spare capacity to make up for any drop in exports from Iran, which is the group’s third-largest producer.


Futures edge higher as Fed’s move digested; Apple gains

By Amy Caren Daniel

U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Thursday on the back of high-flying companies such as Apple and Amazon, while investors assessed the Federal Reserve’s policy statement.

The Fed, as expected, raised interest rates on Wednesday, and left its monetary policy outlook for the coming years largely unchanged amid steady economic growth and a strong job market, adding it did not expect any surprises on inflation.

Shares of Apple rose 1.1 percent in premarket trading after JP Morgan started coverage with an “overweight” rating, citing the iPhone maker’s quicker-than-expected move to a services business. rose 0.7 percent after the online retailer said it was opening a general store in New York City that will sell toys and household goods in its latest brick-and-mortar trial.

The other so-called FAANG stocks – Facebook , Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet – were also trading higher.


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