January 16, 2018 / 3:52 PM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold eases from four-month peak as dollar claws back

    * Dollar recovers a day after hitting three-year low
    * Palladium slips below Monday's record high
    * GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and analyst
comments, adds second byline and NEW YORK dateline)
    By Renita D. Young and Jan Harvey
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Gold slipped on Tuesday
from the previous day's four-month high, reflecting losses
across the commodities complex as the U.S. dollar clawed back
some losses the day after hitting a three-year low against a
basket of currencies.
    Gold's move lower came after four consecutive days of gains
due to the greenback's retreat, which made dollar-priced gold
cheaper for holders of other currencies. 
    Spot gold        was down 0.2 percent at $1,337.04 an ounce
by 1:35 p.m. EST (1835 GMT), off Monday's $1,344.44 peak. U.S.
gold futures        for February delivery settled up $2.20, or
0.2 percent, at $1,337.10 per ounce. 
    "The gold market has gained a lot of momentum over the last
few sessions to the upside, so it’s understandable that it’s
taking a breather on profit-taking,” said Phillip Streible,
senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.
    In early trading, the dollar rose against the euro. On
Monday the dollar hit its lowest against the single currency
since late 2014.       
    The greenback has weakened as markets have grown more
confident that a global recovery would outpace U.S. growth. 
    Stock market strength also weighed on gold, said George
Gero, managing director of RBC Wealth Management. Equities
continued to climb as the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped
26,000 for the first time.                   
    Gero added that broad commodity weakness also weighed on
gold prices. U.S. wheat futures fell as did crude oil and
copper, while nickel slid more than 5 percent.             
                  
    Gold remained relatively firm after three 2017 U.S. interest
rate hikes, but further rate hikes could pressure gold prices by
raising the opportunity cost of non-yielding bullion.
    "We see a trading range of $1,225-$1,430 for gold this year,
with an average price of $1,290," INTL FCStone said in a note.
    "Our number suggests we are closer to a top (than) a bottom,
a position we are comfortable with as we are not sure gold could
withstand the higher-yield environment going into next year,
especially if the (weaker) dollar eventually reverses course."
    Palladium       , which hit a record high of $1,138 an ounce
on Monday, was down 3 percent at $1,091.97 an ounce. It has had
a sustained rally as high demand in the auto industry fueled
supply concerns, sending Nymex palladium futures net long
positions to record highs.
    Silver        was down 1 percent at $17.17 an ounce, off the
previous day's three-month high of $17.42. Platinum        was
up 0.2 percent at $998, touching a Monday peak of $1,001.40, its
strongest since Sept. 11.

 (Additional reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru;
Editing by David Goodman and David Gregorio)
  
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