by Barbara Kollmeyer
Gold prices shot higher on Thursday, coinciding with a meltdown for the U.S. dollar against the yen and fresh signals that the Federal Reserve is taking a cautious approach to future interest-rate hikes.
June gold was last up $12.90, or 1.1%, to $1,236.80 an ounce and earlier touched $1,242. Gold closed down $5.80, or 0.5%, to $1,223.80 an ounce Wednesday.
The minutes from the latest Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting showed central bankers reluctant to lift interest rates at their next meeting, which falls at the end of this month. Those minutes were released about 30 minutes after gold settled on Comex in New York on Wednesday, leaving the gold market to react in Asian and European trading. Higher rates generally diminish the attractiveness of precious metals, which don’t bear a yield.