November 24, 2017 / 4:55 AM / 20 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady as Fed inflation concerns weigh on dollar

    * Spot gold may break above a resistance at $1,296 -
technicals
    * Platinum heads for first weekly decline in four
    * Palladium holds near two-week high hit on Thursday

 (Updates prices, adds quote)
    By Vijaykumar Vedala
    Nov 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices remained stuck in a narrow
range on Friday as the dollar remained under pressure after
minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting revealed that some
policymakers were concerned about lower inflation.        
    Spot gold        was nearly unchanged at $1,291.06 per
ounce, as of 0748 GMT. Bullion was down about 0.3 percent for
the week.  
    U.S. gold futures         for December delivery dipped 0.1
percent to $1,290.70.
    "Investor appetite (for gold) is low even after slightly
more dovish-than-expected Fed minutes. There just has not been
enough to entice investors back into the market in great
amounts," ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said.
    "Investors are still a bit cautious even though the December
rate hike is well expected. They aren't willing to put any
aggressive decisions in place before that hike comes through,"
he added.
    Many Fed policymakers expect interest rates to be raised in
the "near term," according to the minutes of the U.S. central
bank's last policy meeting released on Wednesday.  
    However, some members expressed concern over the inflation
outlook and emphasized they would be looking at upcoming
economic data before deciding the timing of future rate rises.
            
    The Fed's cautious view of inflation could lead to a longer
period of low interest rates which provides a solid platform for
gold investment, said Cameron Alexander, an analyst with Thomson
Reuters-owned metals consultancy GFMS.     
    Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond
yields up, putting pressure on gold prices by increasing the
opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.  
    Spot gold has aborted a bearish target at $1,283 per ounce
as it seems to have found a support at $1,288 and is biased to
break above a resistance at $1,296, according to Reuters
technical analyst Wang Tao.              
    "Gold is moving in a very tight range with no clear driver
for gold - either up or down," Argonaut Securities analyst Helen
Lau said. 
    "So far we don't see any driver in the short-term and it is
likely to stay range-bound for some time."     
    The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. unit against a
basket of six major rival currencies       , was little changed
at 93.214.       
    Among other precious metals, silver        rose 0.4 percent
to $17.12 an ounce, and platinum        gained 0.4 percent to
$936.90 an ounce. 
    Palladium        dipped 0.2 percent to $1,009.80 an ounce
after hitting a two-week high of $1,013.70 in the previous
session.
    Silver slipped 1.2 percent for the week and is poised for
its first weekly decline in three. Platinum lost 1.5 percent, on
track for its first weekly fall in four. 
    Palladium climbed as much as 1.7 percent.  

 (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  

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