Gold slips from six-week high on equities strength

  • European shares hit record highs
  • Volumes thin with many markets closed for public holidays
  • Gold market supported by physical buying -analyst

Jan 3 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on Monday as higher bond yields and rallying equities weighed on the metal's safe-haven appeal as the new year gets under way, pushing it down from a six-week peak hit earlier in the session.

Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,823.63 an ounce by 1131 GMT, having touched its highest since Nov. 22 at $1,831.62. U.S. gold futures edged 0.1% down to $1,826.40.

"The small setback in gold prices is likely driven by positive risk sentiment as gauged by rising equity markets," said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.

Staunovo expects rising U.S. interest rates and declining U.S. inflation over the course of 2022 to weigh on gold and forecasts a price of $1,650 at the end of the year.

Gold prices ended 2021 down 3.6% for the biggest annual decline since 2015, with economies starting to recover from the coronavirus crisis.

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Quantitative Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig said that public holidays in parts of Europe made for low trading volumes, thereby exaggerating price movements in gold.

The dollar ticked up against its major rivals as an upbeat market mood lifted European equities and government bond yields.

"We've seen the dollar starting the year on a strong footing and putting a little bit of downside pressure on an otherwise upward moving gold price," said independent analyst Ross Norman.

What seems to be holding up the gold market continues to be the physical investor, Norman said, referring to the market for coins and gold bars. However, he added that this is not sufficient to propel institutions into exchange-traded funds or the futures markets, where some hefty liquidations and redemptions have occurred.

In other precious metals, silver was steady at $23.27 an ounce, platinum rose 1.8% to $979.44 and palladium was up 0.8% at $1,906.77.

Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru Additional reporting by Swati Verma Editing by David Goodman

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Seher oversees and writes market reports with the commodities and energy team in Bangalore round-the-clock and monitors newsworthy events in the resources space.