December 22, 2017
PRECIOUS-Gold hovers below 2-week high; but eyes second weekly gain
(Reuters) - Gold prices held below a two-week high in thin pre-holiday trade on Friday amid a firmer dollar, but were on track to log a second consecutive week of gains.
Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,265.65 an ounce at 0346 GMT, after hitting its highest since Dec. 6 at $1,268.91 in the previous session. It was up 0.8 percent for the week.
U.S. gold futures slipped 0.1 percent to $1,269.10 an ounce.
The dollar edged up on Friday though remained on track for weekly losses, while the euro skidded after Catalan vote results indicated a victory for separatists in a blow to Madrid.
"The market's a bit flat due to the holidays and there seems to be some kind of uncertainty around," said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
More than 120 countries defied President Donald Trump on Thursday and voted in favour of a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for the United States to drop its recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The U.S. Congress on Thursday averted a government shutdown just one day before federal funding was due to expire, sending Trump a bill to provide just enough money to keep agencies operating through Jan. 19.
The dollar was also supported as Congress had approved the biggest overhaul of the country's tax code in 30 years, which was expected to give at least a short-term lift to economic growth.
Asian stocks edged up on Friday as new data pointed to steady growth in the U.S. economy.
"Under the tax reform, people are waiting to see if it's good for the U.S economy in the coming months ... people don't want to do anything about it for the time being," Leung said.
"Next week as well, unless there's an exciting event, I think we'll be quiet," he said, adding support for the yellow metal comes in around $1,260 an ounce and resistance at $1,270.
The Moscow Exchange will launch deliverable futures for gold in 2018 in a move to further prop up bullion market liquidity, bourse chief executive Alexander Afanasiev said on Thursday.
In other precious metals, silver was little changed at $16.11 an ounce and platinum was 0.6-percent lower at $910.30 an ounce.
Palladium was unchanged at $1,038 an ounce, hovering close to its highest level since February, 2001, touched in the previous session at $1,039.25 an ounce.