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Gold steadies as 2% slide tempts price-sensitive buyers

Strength in stocks, dollar still weighing on prices

Image Credit: Reuters
Customers at a gold store on sale in Taiyuan, Shanxi province. Buying of physical metalgathered pace in major consumer China yesterday, traders said.
Gulf News

London: Gold steadied near $1,150 an ounce on Tuesday as demand for physical metal picked up after the previous day’s 2 per cent slide, though prices remain under pressure from gains in the dollar and stocks.

Buying of physical metal gathered pace in major consumer China on Tuesday, traders said, supporting prices after dollar strength pushed them sharply lower in the previous session.

Spot gold was flat at $1,150.45 an ounce at 1021 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down $9.90 an ounce at $1,149.90.

The metal slid to a 4-1/2 year low at $1,131.85 an ounce last week, and is currently down 4.3 per cent this year.

“Retail demand is very strong since prices came off,” Heraeus trader Alexander Zumpfe said. “Overall, physical demand is lending some support — Asia is also showing steady buying interest, though not on extreme levels.” A 0.2 per cent rise in the dollar index is keeping pressure on gold. A stronger dollar makes assets priced in the U.S. unit more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Appetite for other assets is also improving. European stocks rose, with investors bullish after Wall Street posted a fourth straight record close and Tokyo’s Nikkei hit a seven-year high.

Gold’s inability to retain Friday’s 3 per cent jump suggests investors are selling into rallies, expecting more losses on the back of the U.S. economic recovery, a robust dollar and expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise rates sooner rather than later.

Gold could fall towards $800-$900 an ounce, a level not seen since the 2008/2009 financial crisis, as the metal is no longer seen as a decent portfolio diversifier, hedge fund Red Kite said on Monday.

Holdings of the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, fell 1.8 tonnes on Monday to 725.36 tonnes, a six-year low. The fund has seen outflows of 15.8 tonnes so far this month.

Silver was down 0.3 per cent at $15.51 an ounce. Spot platinum was down 0.2 per cent at $1,190.24 an ounce, while spot palladium was down 0.2 per cent at $757.35 an ounce.