By Katherine Dunn

Gold prices pushed higher Wednesday as a weaker dollar helped give the precious metal a boost.

Gold for February delivery was recently up 0.2% at $1,164.60 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, on track for its second straight day of gains.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which weighs the dollar against a basket of other currencies, was down 0.4% Wednesday. A weaker dollar is typically bullish for dollar-denominated commodities.

Traders were also waiting for minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's December meeting, which will be released at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday. At the meeting, officials said they expect toraise interest rates by a further 0.75 percentage point over the course of 2017.

Those increases would likely be bearish for gold prices. Because gold doesn't bear interest, it struggles to compete with other investments as interest rates rise.

Looking to the new year, analysts point to the strength of the dollar and the pace of rate increases as the two major drivers for the gold price.

But the larger unknown is how the first year of the presidency of Donald Trump will play out, said David Govett, head of precious metals at Marex Spectron in London.

"This is a man who is very unpredictable and regardless of how business friendly he may be, will keep the world on tenterhooks with his every tweet and utterance, and this I believe will give gold a boost from time to time," Mr. Govett said.

Geopolitical risks and a series of contentious elections in the eurozone this year, including Germany and France, could also bring new political surprises and stoke safe-haven risks, according to analysts.

Stephanie Yang contributed to this article.

Write to Katherine Dunn at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 04, 2017 10:06 ET (15:06 GMT)

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