December 22, 2016
Gold Steady as Dollar Edges Away from 14-Year Peak
(Reuters) - Gold was little changed on Thursday in muted trade ahead of the holidays as the U.S. dollar slipped from 14-year highs.
Spot gold was steady at $1,131.54 an ounce by 0253 GMT. The metal, which hit a 10-1/2-month low of $1,122.35 last week on hawkish rate hike forecast from the Federal Reserve, ended flat in the previous session.
U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,132.90 per ounce.
"The market is in holiday mood already and we have very few trading days before the new year. It is all going to be quiet as the investors will be holding very thin margins," said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
The Federal Reserve, which hiked U.S. interest rates last week, signaled three more increases next year compared with its previous projection of two. Expectations of rate hikes lowers demand for the non-interest-paying bullion, which is priced in dollars.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, slipped 0.1 percent to 102.950. It hit 103.65 on Tuesday, its highest since December 2002.
"The dollar is very strong and gold is going to be under pressure till Donald Trump takes over the U.S. presidency and the focus will shift to how his polices are unfolding," said Leung.
Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, continued to fall on Wednesday, losing 0.43 percent to hit 824.54 tonnes. Holdings are down over 12 percent since November.
"A lot of ETF buyers got in at unsatisfactory levels. Clearly Trump's win was unexpected by the market and the rise in U.S. yields put further pressure on gold," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
"A break of $1,100 will see another round of big liquidations."
Spot gold looks neutral in a range of $1,121-$1,137 per ounce, and an escape could indicate a direction, according to Wang Tao, Reuters analyst for commodities technicals.
Spot silver fell 0.1 percent to $15.92 an ounce after falling nearly one percent in the previous session.
Platinum was down 0.3 percent at $912.49.
Palladium was down for the seventh straight session, down 0.2 percent at $656.50. The metal touched a six-week low of $652.80 on Wednesday.