July 30, 2018 / 4:12 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold eases on firm dollar ahead of central bank meetings

    * Spot gold still targets a range of $1,206-$1,214/oz -
technicals
    * Specs raise net shorts in gold to record in week to July
24 -
CFTC

 (Updates prices)
    By Apeksha Nair
    BENGALURU, July 30 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on Monday
as the dollar stood tall against its peers ahead of key central
bank meetings and U.S. inflation and payrolls data this week.   
    Spot gold        was down about 0.3 percent at $1,219.70 an
ounce at 0656 GMT. U.S. gold futures         were 0.3 percent
lower at $1,219 an ounce.     
    The dollar remained broadly supported in Asia against major
rivals on Monday, as market participants awaited central bank
meetings this week, which could set the near-term course for
currencies.      
    The greenback also climbed to a 13-month high versus 
China's yuan              .             
    "The dollar-CNH is putting pressure on gold. We've got a lot
of central bank meetings this week but I think the big one for
us is probably the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The
Bank of Japan is probably going to move the dollar/yen a bit
tomorrow," a Hong Kong-based trader said.
    The Bank of Japan holds a monetary policy meeting on Monday
and Tuesday, while the U.S. Federal Reserve meets on Tuesday and
Wednesday. The Fed is likely to reaffirm its outlook for gradual
rate increases in the United States.
    Higher U.S. rates tend to boost the dollar and bond yields,
making greenback-denominated gold more expensive for other
holders and denting bullion's non yielding appeal.  
    Investors are also focusing on the Bank of Japan meeting for
signs of a potential shift in policy. 
    The Bank of England is due to announce a policy decision on
Thursday.    
    Asian shares drifted lower on Monday at the start of a busy
week peppered with corporate results and updates on U.S.
inflation and payrolls, as well as the central bank meetings.
            
    "Technically I think the trend is still down but post-FOMC
I'm always a bit anxious of being short because generally we see
a bit of bounce after FOMC," the trader said.
    Spot gold still targets a range of $1,206-$1,214 per ounce,
as its bounce from the July 19 low of $1,211.08 has completed,
according to Reuters technicals analyst Wang Tao.             
    Hedge funds and money managers increased their net short
position in COMEX gold contracts to a record in the week to July
24, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed
on Friday.                 
    Investors added 5,001 contracts to their net short position,
bringing it to 27,156 contracts, the biggest on record dating
back to 2006, CFTC data showed.
    In other precious metals, silver        fell 0.3 percent at
$15.41 per ounce, after hitting a one-week low at $15.29 in the
previous session.
    Platinum        fell 0.5 percent to $821 while palladium 
       rose 0.5 percent to $925.90.

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Eric Meijer
and Vyas Mohan)
  
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