MTECHTIPS-Gold prices extended gains to a fourth session on Monday, as the U.S. dollar headed for its longest losing streak since November in wake of the Federal Reserve’s dovish guidance on the future pace of rate hikes. Comex gold futures jumped to a session peak of $1,235.50 a troy ounce, the highest since March 6. It was last at $1,231.75 by 9:15 AM ET (13:15 GMT), up $1.55, or around 0.1%. Meanwhile, spot gold was up $2.70 at $1,232.25 per ounce. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down about 0.1% at 100.04 in New York morning trade. It fell to 99.86 earlier, the lowest since February 6. The greenback has been on the retreat since the Fed raised interest rates on Wednesday last week, but stopped short of predicting a sharper acceleration in monetary tightening over the next two years. The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion. A gradual path to higher rates is seen as less of a threat to gold prices than a swift series of increases. Market players will focus on a handful of Fed speakers in the week ahead, including Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday, as they look for more clues on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike.
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