Gold Dips Below $1200 on Renewed U.S. Rate Hike Bets

Gold retreated for a third session in a row on Thursday after comments from Federal Reserve officials and minutes of the U.S. central bank’s meeting last month suggested that a rate increase in June remained on the cards despite recent weak data.

Spot gold was off 0.1 percent at $1,201 an ounce by 0022 GMT.  Bullion hit a session low of $1,197.45 on Wednesday after two Fed officials said the U.S. central bank could still increase interest rates in June.

The minutes of the Fed’s March 17-18 meeting showed it concluded with the Fed opening the door to a June rate hike, and that “several participants” went on record saying they expected upcoming economic data would warrant an initial rate increase that month.