November 17, 2017 / 11:31 AM / 2 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold at one-month top on weak dollar, uncertainty over Trump tax bill

    * Gold on track for biggest weekly gain in five weeks
    * Silver heading for best week in five
    * Palladium poised for strongest daily gain since early June

 (Recasts; updates prices; adds comment, NEW YORK dateline,
    By Marcy Nicholson and Eric Onstad
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Gold jumped to a
one-month high on Friday as the dollar softened on uncertainty
about the progress of a proposed overhaul of the U.S. tax code
that would be the biggest since the 1980s.
    "With the ultimate fate of tax reform in Congress in serious
doubt and the Alabama Senate race threatening to narrow the
already wafer-thin GOP majority, sentiment has turned sharply
against the dollar, which may finally allow gold to test key
medium-term resistance at $1,310 early next week," said Tai
Wong, head of base and precious metals trading at BMO Capital
Markets in New York.
    On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a
package of tax cuts, while a Senate panel advanced its version
of the legislation that has President Donald Trump's backing.
The Senate version of the measure has already encountered
resistance from some within the Republican ranks. This fed doubt
among investors which hurt the dollar and helped gold.
    Spot gold        was up 1.2 percent at $1,293.53 an ounce by
2:30 p.m. EST (1930 GMT), on track for the biggest one-day jump
since Aug. 28. It rose to the highest price since Oct. 16 at
$1,297. For the week, it was poised to finish up 1.3 percent,
its strongest weekly performance since mid-October. 
    U.S. gold futures         for December delivery settled up
1.4 percent at $1,296.50.
    "There's also a lot of concern that the equity market rally
is possibly becoming a little exhausted for now, and that should
be supportive of gold in the short term," said Jonathan Butler,
commodities analyst at Mitsubishi in London.
    The dollar weakened against a basket of six currencies
       and was set for its biggest weekly loss in more than a
month. Wall Street stocks fell as investors worried about the
tax plan and also pulled back from technology.       
    Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said the dollar should
strengthen as the U.S. Federal Reserve continues to raise rates.
    "Volatility in the gold market is down towards record lows
with most of the short-term swings caused by shifting
expectations about the outlook for U.S. monetary policy," he
said in a note.
    "While we still see gold trading lower heading into 2018,
short-term headwinds should fade as the year progresses."
    Silver        followed gold higher and was up 1.4 percent at
$17.31 an ounce.
    Platinum        rose 2.3 percent to $952.30, after rising to
$954.30, the highest since Sept. 20, while palladium       
gained 1 percent to $996.75. 
    For the week, silver has risen 2.5 percent, in what would be
its best week in five. Platinum is up 2.8 percent, heading for a
third straight weekly rise, while palladium is up 0.3 percent.

 (Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala and Arpan Varghese
in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio and Mark Potter)
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