Gold prices were up nearly 3% on Thursday to a four-year high after the Federal Reserve took a dovish stance on interest rates, signalling the possibility of future rate cuts and cutting the value of the U.S. dollar, while rising Mideast tensions sent investors to the safe-haven metal

Gold for August delivery was last seen up US$36.60 to US$1,385.40 per ounce in Comex electronic trade, the highest since the first quarter of 2015.

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The rise came after the Federal Reserve ended a two-day meeting on Wednesday and signalled a new dovish stance on rates, raising the possibility of rate cuts before the end of the year. The new stance cut the value of the U.S. dollar, with the ICE dollar index last seen down 0.43 to 96.69. A lower dollar makes gold less expensive for international buyers, raising demand.

The metal was also pushed higher after Iran downed a U.S. drone, raising tensions already heightened by attacks on shipping in the Gulf.