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PRECIOUS-Gold snaps 8-day losing streak as dollar slips from highs
March 12, 2015 / 4:06 AM / 3 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold snaps 8-day losing streak as dollar slips from highs

* Dollar hits near 12-year high, eases
    * Coming up: US weekly jobless claims, Feb retail sales

 (Adds 1 pct jump in prices)
    By A. Ananthalakshmi
    SINGAPORE, March 12 (Reuters) - Gold gained 1 percent on
Thursday on short-covering after eight days of losses and as the
dollar slipped from a near 12-year peak, but increasing concerns
over a near-term interest rate rise in the United States kept
the metal under pressure.
    Spot gold jumped about 1 percent to a session high of
$1,166.30 an ounce. It had dropped for eight days in a row to
Wednesday, when it also reached its lowest since Dec. 1 of
$1,147.10.
    Sentiment towards bullion had taken a big hit on Friday,
when strong U.S. nonfarm payrolls data stoked expectations the
Federal Reserve would end its near-zero rate policy soon.
    The dollar stood tall, boosted by diverging global monetary
policies that sent the greenback to its highest since April 2003
against a basket of six major currencies on Thursday, though it
gave up some of its sharp gains later in the session.    
    Investors believe higher U.S. rates could dent demand for
assets that don't pay interest such as gold. A stronger dollar
also dents bullion's safe-haven appeal. 
    "The dollar strength is really blowing everyone out of the
water," said a Hong Kong-based precious metals trader, adding
that demand for physical bullion was not strong enough to
support prices.
    "It is really tough after the jobs data to get bullish on
gold. Equities have given back a little bit but the money is
going into other instruments offering better yields," he said.
    Any small rallies in gold would be sold into, the trader
said.
    Some Fed officials have hinted that the Fed might act soon
on rates. Markets are expecting an increase in June. 
    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 a rate rise,
followed by a set of gradual moves higher. 
    Bullion wasn't getting much support from weaker equity
markets as the combination of a robust dollar, weak technicals
and bearish investor positioning took its toll.
    Chartists say gold prices are bound to go lower.
    Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said gold could revisit
its November 2014 low of $1,131.85, as it has broken support at
$1,156. 
    With the nine-day losing streak, gold has erased all of its
gains from early 2015 and is showing a loss of nearly 3 percent
for the year. 
    Investors have been pulling out of bullion, given the
bullish outlook for the dollar. SPDR Gold Trust, the
world's top gold-backed exchange-traded fund, saw its holdings
drop to the lowest in over a month earlier this week. 

    PRICES AT 0714 GMT 
 Metal            Last     Change  Pct chg
                                   
 Spot gold         1164.6   10.55     0.91
 Spot silver        15.65    0.19     1.23
 Spot platinum    1128.85   12.45     1.12
 Spot palladium       796    9.24     1.17
 Comex gold        1163.7    13.1     1.14
 Comex silver      15.655    0.29     1.89
 Euro              1.0581                 
 DXY               99.396                 
                                   
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the
 most active months
 
 
 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin,
Alan Raybould and Biju Dwarakanath)

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