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Gold nears four-month highs after hawkish ECB boosts euro

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Gold prices on Thursday approached a four-month high set on the previous day after minutes of a European Central Bank meeting showed a more aggressive tone and boosted the euro against the U.S. dollar.

The December meeting minutes said the central bank should revisit its policy message in early 2018 and gradually adjust its language to reflect improved growth prospects.

"The euro gained against the dollar after the minutes from the ECB's December meeting showed a hawkish tone," said John Lawrence, a senior trader at Heraeus Precious Metals in New York.

Investors would probably take a policy message change as a sign that rate-setters may begin to wind down their 2.55-trillion-euro bond-buying programme.

A stronger euro potentially boosts demand for gold by making dollar-priced bullion cheaper for European investors.

The dollar (.DXY) weakened more broadly after U.S. data showed a rise in jobless claims and a decrease in producer prices, making gold cheaper for other non-U.S. buyers.

Daniel Ghali, commodities strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, said he had been expecting a lower dollar.

"The U.S. is set to tighten their quantitative easing, but other central banks around the world are going to play catch up," he said. "That should sap some strength out of the dollar during the year."

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MARKET SUMMARY

INDICES

Name Last Change
DOW 25199.30 100.00%
S&P 500 2753.17 0.75%
NASDAQ 7854.44 0.01%
TSX 16477.40 0.25%
TSX-V 717.58 0.00%

Resource Commodities

Name Last Change
Gold 1216.00 0.93%
Silver 15.27 1.83%
Copper 2.75 0.010
Platinum 801.00 1.81%
Oil 68.76 0.99%
Natural Gas 2.72 0.70%
Uranium 23.65 0.08%
Zinc 1.17 0.00%

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