* U.S. Fed minutes due for release at 1800 GMT
* Silver eases off more than three-month peak
* Spot gold may break support at $1,859/oz – technicals (Adds chart, updates prices)
May 19 (Reuters) – Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday to hover around a four-month high, helped by a weaker dollar, ahead of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting that are expected to shed more light on policymakers’ views on inflation.
Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,873.01 per ounce by 0657 GMT, after hitting its highest since Jan. 29 at $1,874.80 in the previous session. U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,872.
“Gold surged aggressively since the start of the week around the narrative that we could see inflation pick up in an environment where the Fed is resistant to tightening,” DailyFX currency strategist Ilya Spivak said.
“Against that backdrop, we’ve seen stronger commodity prices in general and a weaker dollar. Certainly the price of gold has been a notable reflection of that.”
The dollar index slipped to a near three-month low against its rivals.
Gold prices have risen over $190, or nearly 12%, since falling to a nine-month trough in early March, with gains driven by a pullback in the U.S. currency and a rise in inflation expectations, as bullion is seen as a hedge against inflation.
Concerns over inflationary pressure intensified after U.S. consumer prices in April rose 4.2% year-on-year, the fastest increase in more than a decade.
Investors are awaiting the release of minutes from the U.S. Fed’s April 27-28 policy meeting, which are due at 1800 GMT.
The U.S. central bank has pledged to keep interest rates low for some time and Fed officials have repeatedly maintained they expect any rise in inflation to be short-lived.
Spot gold may break support at $1,859 and fall into a range of $1,830 to $1,847 per ounce, as it failed to break key resistance at $1,875, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Silver fell 0.2% to $28.14 per ounce after hitting a more than three-month high on Tuesday.
Palladium gained 0.1% to $2,906.31, and platinum rose 0.2% to $1,220.25.
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