Gold nudges up as dollar eases; palladium hits fresh 16-year peak

Source : REUTERS
By : Vijaykumar Vedala
Last Updated: Thu, Nov 09, 2017 17:03 hrs

Gold prices edged higher on Thursday, after marking a near three-week high in the previous session, as the dollar eased while palladium hit a fresh peak since February 2001.

Spot gold rose 0.2 percent at $1,283.91 per ounce at 0844 GMT. On Wednesday, it rose 0.4 percent and touched its highest since Oct. 20 at $1,287.13 an ounce.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up 0.1 percent at $1,284.90.

"Gold has been probably tracking the currency (U.S. dollar) because some of the other drivers which had pushed it to its recent highs have subsided, in particular the geo-political risks and safe haven buying," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes.

"I think they'll continue to trade around those currency moves."

The dollar edged 0.1 percent lower against a basket of currencies, amid uncertainty over the fate of U.S. President Donald Trump's tax reform plans.

A U.S. Senate tax-cut bill, differing from one in the House of Representatives, was expected to be unveiled on Thursday, complicating a Republican tax overhaul push and increasing skepticism on Wall Street about the effort.

"Although the dollar's travails have brought a smile to long-suffering bullish gold traders, it is important to note there seems to be an absence of risk aversion premium in gold's price and that its fate will be decided by the dollar alone," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with OANDA.

Spot gold may retest a resistance at $1,286 per ounce, a break above which could lead to a gain into the range of $1,292-$1,298, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Gold demand slid to its lowest in eight years in the last quarter as jewellery buying fell and inflows into bullion-backed exchange-traded funds dried up, data from the World Gold Council showed on Thursday.

Among other metals, palladium gained 0.6 percent to $1,019.25 an ounce. It touched its highest since 2001 at $1,023.10.

"There's been an unease around the platinum market. The impact and weakening in demand in that sector has subsequently benefitted palladium. That's why we are seeing that kind of outperformance in the palladium market, which is also particularly tight," ANZ's Hynes said.

Palladium's premium over platinum hovered near its highest since 2001. In September, palladium became more valuable than platinum for the first time in 16 years.

Platinum is more heavily used in diesel vehicles that have fallen out of favour since 2015's Volkswagen emissions-rigging scandal.

Palladium has benefitted from the switch to petrol engines and expectations for growth in hybrid electric vehicles, which tend to be gasoline-powered.

Meanwhile, silver was up 0.4 percent at $17.075 an ounce, while platinum was almost flat at $931.10 an ounce.

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