Kitco News -- Gold prices are sharply higher and trading close to a five-week high on Thursday but the metal must maintain a key number to keep the momentum. Bill Baruch, a senior market strategist at iiTrader.com said that the minutes from Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is the key catalyst behind gold’s run. ‘Fed officials in July agreed that conditions to warrant a rate hike were not yet met,’ Baruch explained. ‘[T]hey expressed concern over lagging inflation and a weak global economy highlighted by a continued decline in crude oil and slow growth in China,’ he said. But gold must stay above $1,138.70 an ounce, which represents the market’s 50-day moving average, to maintain the current drive, Baruch highlighted. ‘A failure and close back below $1,130.4 - $1,135.3 will leave the bears with an edge, sending the tape lower,’ he explained. Thursday’s existing home sales and Philly Fed data beat expectations. July existing home sales rose by 2% in July and the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index rose to 8.3 in August. 'This might give gold a little headwind -- stalling it at the $1,149.00 level,’ Baruch suggested. Spot gold was last up $16.20 at $1150.30 an ounce.
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