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Gold slips as US dollar claws back some ground

Dollar edges up after slide to 3-year lows

Gulf News

London: Gold fell on Monday as a revival in the dollar and a rise in bond yields to multi-year peaks prompted some buyers to cash in gains in the metal after its sixth weekly price increase in seven weeks.

Gold has risen more than 3 per cent so far this month, and after a strong end to December touched its highest since August 2016 last week at $1,366.07 (Dh5,016.89) an ounce.

Its strength has been driven largely by a slide in the dollar index to three-year lows. An uptick in the currency on Monday after six straight weeks of losses has prompted a pullback.

Spot gold was down 0.5 per cent at $1,342.99 an ounce at 1230 GMT, while US gold futures for February delivery were down $10.50 an ounce at $1,341.60.

“We have seen massive rebound in gold, and traders need more clarity in relation to the dollar trend after mixed comments from the US president and US Treasury secretary,” ThinkMarkets’ chief market analyst Naeem Aslam said.

“Our view that it is likely that we will another push to the upside (in gold),” he added.

The dollar edged up against a currency basket on Monday as rising bond yields helped underpin the greenback ahead of a week packed with US data. It remains on track for its biggest monthly decline since March 2016, however. The currency came under pressure last week after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated he was broadly supportive of a weak dollar, though US President Donald Trump later said he wanted to see strength in the currency.

A jump in bond yields also weighed on non-interest bearing gold.

Gold traders are now awaiting the outcome of a Federal Reserve policy meeting this week, as well as key US jobs data, an important indicator of the strength of the broader economy.

Both will be watched for their implications for US

interest rates. Gold is highly sensitive to rising US rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

Demand for physical metal was weak in the key Chinese market overnight in the face of the firmer dollar, MKS said in a note, although the onshore premium over spot in Shanghai remained robust at $8 an ounce.

Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.5 per cent at $17.30 an ounce. It rose 2.3 per cent last week, the biggest rise of any of the major precious metals.

Platinum, this year’s best performing precious metal so far, was down 0.5 per cent at $1,004, after easing 0.3 per cent last week in its first weekly decline in seven.

Palladium was 1 per cent lower at $1,080.99 an ounce.