January 3, 2018 / 2:45 AM / in 10 months

Gold hits three-and-a-half-month highs before dipping on dollar recovery

(Reuters) - Gold prices edged down on Wednesday after hitting a 3-1/2-month high, as the dollar recovered from its lows and technical indicators pointed to a short-term correction.

Gold bars and granules are pictured at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna October 23, 2012. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Spot gold fell 0.4 percent to $1,312.35 an ounce at 0257 GMT. The precious metal earlier hit $1,321.33, its highest level since Sept. 15.

U.S. gold futures were mostly unchanged at $1,315.60 an ounce.

“Relative strength index shows the metal at overbought levels, which may lead to short term selling,” ScotiaMocatta analysts said in a research note.

The 14-day relative strength index (RSI) for spot gold touched 75 on Tuesday, it highest since September 2017. An RSI above 70 indicates a commodity is overbought and could lead to a price correction.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1 percent at 91.964 after falling to a more than three-month low Tuesday.

The dollar posted its biggest annual drop since 2003 in 2017, helping gold to an annual increase of more than 13 percent. Bullion surged $55 an ounce in the last three weeks of 2017 alone.

Gold’s medium-term outlook appeared positive, analysts said.

“At this moment we are expecting some kind of inflationary expectations. People are more optimistic with stock rally are also expecting returns in commodities including gold,” said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong’s Wing Fung Financial Group.

“We should tap the short term opportunities to go long as gold has crossed $1,300 with a momentum. It may act as a support, while $1,340 could be an immediate resistance level and we might reach $1,400 in the first quarter this year.”

Spot gold may break a resistance at $1,326 per ounce and rise towards the next resistance at $1,380 in three months, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Later on Wednesday, investors will turn their attention to the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December policy meeting, when it raised interest rates for the third time in 2017.

Further cues are likely from U.S. economic data this week, including jobs figures on Friday.

Among other precious metals, spot palladium fell 0.1 percent to $1,090.80 an ounce, after hitting a record high on Tuesday at $1,096.50

The metal, which soared 57 percent in 2017, has been surging on fears of short supplies.

Analysts expect that about 80 percent of global palladium demand will come from autocatalysts for gasoline-powered cars, which many consumers now prefer over diesel-fuelled vehicles.

Spot silver fell 0.8 percent to $17.05 an ounce, after hitting a six-week high at $17.21 earlier in the session.

Spot platinum fell 0.8 percent to $936.10 an ounce.

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin and Subhranshu Sahu

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