March 12, 2015 / 12:51 AM / 2 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold near 3-month low after eight-day losing streak

SINGAPORE, March 12 (Reuters) - Gold traded near a
three-month low on Thursday, struggling to get past losses from
the last eight sessions, as the metal continued to be hammered
by a strong dollar amid increasing expectations of a rate hike
in the United States.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was firm at $1,154.76 an ounce by 0036
GMT. It fell to a fresh low of $1,147.10 on Wednesday, the
lowest since Dec. 1.
    * Tracking gold, other precious metals have also headed
lower. Platinum was trading near its lowest since 2009,
while silver hovered near a three-month low. 
    * Bullion has taken a big hit since Friday when data showed
U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by a stronger-than-expected
number.
    * Expectations the Federal Reserve will end its near-zero
rate policy given a tightening labour market propelled an index
which measures the dollar against six major currencies to
an almost 12-year high on Wednesday. 
    * Some Fed officials have hinted that the Fed might act soon
on rates. Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Federal
Reserve Bank, said this week the U.S. central bank should
promptly end its easy monetary policy and press ahead with an
interest rate hike, followed by a set of gradual moves higher.
 
    * Markets believe higher rates would dent demand for assets
that don't pay interest such as gold. A stronger greenback also
dents bullion's safe-haven appeal. 
    * Technical outlook for gold also looked weak, with several
analysts saying the next support level for gold was near $1,130,
a level last seen in November.
    * Investors have been pulling out of bullion, given the
bullish outlook for dollar. SPDR Gold Trust <GLD, the world's
top gold-back exchange-traded fund, saw its holdings drop to
their lowest in over a month earlier this week. 
    * In other industry news, Russia's 2015 gold production is
likely to rise by 3 percent in annual terms to 298 tonnes,
Sergei Kashuba, head of Russia's Gold Producers Union, told
reporters on Wednesday.    
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
 or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * The euro wallowed just above a fresh 12-year low early on
Thursday having faced an unrelenting onslaught this week as the
European Central Bank kicked off its 1 trillion euro bond-buying
campaign. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    1000 Euro zone Industrial production Jan 
    1230 U.S. Import prices Feb 
    1230 U.S. Export prices Feb 
    1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 
    1230 U.S. Retail sales Feb 
    1400 U.S. Business inventories Jan

    PRICES AT 0036 GMT    
 Metal            Last      Change  Pct chg
                                           
 Spot gold         1154.76    0.71     0.06
 Spot silver         15.49    0.03     0.19
 Spot platinum     1119.99    3.59     0.32
 Spot palladium     788.75    1.99     0.25
 Comex gold         1153.9     3.3     0.29
 Comex silver        15.49   0.125     0.81
 Euro               1.0546                 
 DXY                99.697                 
                                           
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the
 most active months
 
 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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