Investing.com – Gold was up on Wednesday morning in Asia but remained near a recent low as strong U.S. retail sales reading drove the dollar close to a 16-month high.Gold futures were up 0.14% to $1,856.70 by 11:48 PM ET (4:48 AM GMT). The dollar, which normally moves inversely to gold, edged up on Wednesday and was near a 16-month high.Data released on Tuesday showed that the U.S. retail sales grew 1.7%, which is better than expected. Core retail sales grew a better-than-expected 1.7%.Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said on Tuesday that the Fed should "tack in a more hawkish direction" in preparation for longer-term high inflation. Inflation at persistently high levels is raising bets that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rate hikes earlier than expected.In the U.K., better-than-expected employment data from the Office for National Statistics eased concerns that the Bank of England will hike interest rates. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3% in September.“Now that today’s labor market data shows that hurdle has been cleared, we think the Bank of England has the green light for interest rate lift-off at their December meeting,” J.P. Morgan Asset Management global market strategist Ambrose Crofton told Reuters.Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe also said that recent data does not justify an interest rate Down Under. Australia's wage price index growing 2.2% and 0.6% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in the third quarter.In other precious metals, spot silver gained 0.6%, while platinum and palladium were both up 0.3%..