November 24, 2015 / 3:57 AM / 2 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold, silver, platinum near multi-year lows on robust dollar, Fed view

4 Min Read

* Gold, silver near 6-year lows
    * Platinum plumbs fresh seven-year low
    * Fund outflows continue to hurt sentiment

 (Updates prices)
    By A. Ananthalakshmi
    SINGAPORE, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Gold and silver languished
near their lowest levels in six years on Tuesday, while platinum
dipped to a seven-year low on a strong dollar and growing
expectations that the Federal Reserve would increase U.S.
interest rates next month.
    Outflows from exchange-traded funds backed by the metals,
all non-interest-paying assets, as investors position for a rate
hike are also hurting prices.
    Spot gold ticked up 0.3 percent to $1,072.20 an ounce
by 0706 GMT on Tuesday, but not too far from last week's low of
$1,064.95, the weakest since February 2010. 
    Silver rose slightly, after slumping to $13.86 on
Monday, the lowest since August 2009. Platinum hit
$831.80, its lowest since December 2008.
    "Speculators expect a rate rise next month, so people are
dumping their gold. The longs are liquidating," said Ronald
Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers Ltd in Hong Kong,
adding that a reversal in dollar strength could help prices.
    The dollar hit an eight-month high on Monday on hopes of a
rate hike. A firm greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities
more expensive for holders of other currencies. 
    San Francisco Fed President John Williams on Saturday cited
a "strong case" for raising rates when Fed policymakers meet
next month, as long as U.S. economic data does not disappoint,
echoing other officials. Nonfarm payrolls data earlier this
month also supported views of a strong economy. 
    "Physical demand is a little bit supportive of gold price
for the time being but it is not aggressive," Leung said.
    Sustained strong physical demand in top consuming region
Asia tends to provide a floor to falling prices. 
    Premiums on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, a proxy for physical
demand in China, were at $5 an ounce on Tuesday, versus $3-$4 in
the beginning of the month.
    Investment demand, however, was lacklustre. 
    Assets in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund (ETF), tumbled to 655.69 tonnes on Monday,
the lowest since September 2008.
    Holdings of platinum ETFs are at a two-year
low, while assets in palladium funds are close
to their lowest since April 2014. 
    "The recent PGM (platinum group metal) price weakness is
more dollar and investor sentiment driven," said HSBC analyst
James Steel. "While the near-term path of least resistance
appears lower we believe PGMs are close to plumbing the lows."
    
    PRICES AT 0706 GMT    
 Metal            Last      Change   Pct chg
                                            
 Spot gold          1072.2     3.26      0.3
 Spot silver         14.13     0.02     0.14
 Spot platinum      841.75     1.75     0.21
 Spot palladium     538.98     2.23     0.42
 Comex  gold        1071.4      4.6     0.43
 Comex silver       14.105    0.073     0.52
                                            
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the
 most active months
 
 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Himani Sarkar and
Gopakumar Warrier)

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