March 24, 2017
Gold slips as markets await U.S. healthcare vote
(Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower on Friday against abackdrop of a rising dollar as markets waited to see whether U.S. President Donald Trump succeeds in pushing through health care reforms, viewed as a potential bellwether for his ability to impose his economic and political agenda.A rough ride for the healthcare plan could affect Trump's efforts to cut taxes and boost infrastructure, with the potential to drive more investors to gold as a safe haven if stock markets fall, analysts and traders said Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,243.23 per ounce by 0302 GMT. On Thursday, it touched its strongest since Feb. 28 at $1,253.12. The yellow metal was on track for its second straight week of gains. U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at $1,243.20.
"The yellow metal continues to see solid interest underneath $1,245, however should prices fail again at $1,250 we may see this support level broken to test $1,230 - $1,235," MKS PAMP Group trader Sam Laughlin said.The dollar recouped a little lost ground on Friday amid signs the delayed healthcare vote would go ahead later in the day - though it remained unclear whether it would pass.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose 0.2 percent to 99.980. It hit a seven-week low of 99.547 on Wednesday."If the (healthcare) vote is to pass the reforms, gold could face pressure. But, if it encounters problems, we might chase a previous high at around $1,260," a precious metals trader said. Spot gold is still homing in on $1,237 per ounce, as it faces a strong resistance zone of $1,247-$1,254,
Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said. "We suspect that short-term long positioning has become extended and may be vulnerable to a correction," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA. "A break of $1,242.50 should see some stop-loss sell action appear as traders reduce longs, after which gold will most likely move to the nuances of Washington D.C. headlines."
Spot silver rose 0.2 percent to $17.56 an ounce, after hitting over two-week high of $17.69 in the prior session.
Platinum dropped 0.6 percent to $952.85.
Palladium was firm at $798.25. It climbed to a peak of $808.70 in the prior session, its highest since March 2015.