Gold prices rose on Wednesday as weaker-than-expected US data pushed the dollar lower before the release of minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting that could hint at the pace of future interest rate rises. Stock-index futures pointed to a mixed start to Asian trading.
The markets also witnessed low volumes ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Gold and oil surged. It was the dollar's largest single day fall against the yen since May.The greenback fell more than 1 percent against a host of currencies during the session.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would prefer a new election to leading a minority government after talks on forming a three-way coalition failed.
The greenback nursed its losses after sliding almost 1.1 per cent against the yen on Wednesday, its biggest one-day drop since mid-May. The euro rose 0.7 per cent to US$1.1823. Against the yen, the dollar fell more than 1 percent, touching its lowest since late September. Spot gold was up 0,1 percent at $1 277 per ounce, as of 1244 GMT.
Meanwhile, in the week ending November 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims decreased by 13,000 from the previous week's revised level to 239,000, generally in line with market estimates, the U.S. Labor Department said Wednesday.
According to the minutes released in the afternoon, the Fed viewed a near-term increase in interest rates as possible but policymakers also expressed concerns about persistently low inflation, hinting that the rate hike pace could be more moderate than expected in 2018.
Japan and United States markets are closed on Thursday for a holiday, while South Korean markets open later than usual due to school exams. Equities remain on track to close out the year near all-time highs with investors in the stock market optimistic about global growth and company earnings.