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PRECIOUS-Gold ticks higher in light trade after holiday weekend
December 27, 2016 / 4:01 PM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold ticks higher in light trade after holiday weekend

* Specs cut net longs in COMEX gold for 6th straight week
    * Platinum snaps six session decline
    * Silver, palladium set for biggest daily gain in two weeks

 (New throughout, adds comment, milestones, data, updates
prices)
    By Devika  Krishna Kumar and Swati Verma
    NEW YORK/BENGALURU, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on
Tuesday to a near two-week high on weak Japan inflation data,
but trading was thin with traders in the United States returning
after the long Christmas weekend and London markets still
closed.
    Most analysts believe broad concerns about European banks
and uncertainty around U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's
policies will likely support gold prices in 2017.
    However, the price of gold could tumble over the near term
if U.S. bond yields continue to climb, they said.
    Spot gold was up 0.39 percent at $1,137.98 an ounce by 10:27
a.m. EST (1527 GMT) after hitting its highest since Dec. 14 at
$1,148 an ounce. 
    U.S. gold futures rose 0.5 percent to $1,139.10 per
ounce.
    Data showed Chinese industry racked up its strongest profit
growth in three months in November, suggesting the world's
second-largest economy was improving. In Japan, however, core
consumer prices fell in annual terms for the ninth month as
household spending slumped. 
    "Maybe a top is in on Japan's growth and with that you could
start to see stimulus measures and that's why gold and silver
ticked up," said Phillip Streible, senior commodities broker for
RJO Futures in Chicago.
    "I think with gold, we can realistically get back up to
$1,250 an ounce in 2017," Streible said, adding that equity
markets were possibly due for a correction.
    Equity markets in the U.S. opened higher on Tuesday with the
Dow Jones Industrial Average resuming its march towards 20,000
and the Nasdaq hitting a record high. 
    Gold's gains were limited by a strong dollar.  
    The dollar rose against the yen and euro as some investors
emerged out of the holiday lull to hunt for bargains as the
market entered the last trading stretch of the year. 
    The U.S. currency had climbed to a 10-month high of 118.660
yen mid-month on expectations of stronger growth after Trump
takes office in January. A firm dollar curbs demand for
commodities priced in the greenback by making them more
expensive for holders of other currencies. 
    "People are waiting until Trump becomes the U.S. president
and until we see his real policies or what he will do when he
takes the office," said Yuichi Ikemizu, head of commodity
trading at Standard Bank in Tokyo.
    "People are just watching the other markets like dollar and
stock markets and kind of expecting the stock market and
financial market to be good under Trump government. In that
case, people don't need gold and instead invest in stocks."
    Among other precious metals, spot silver was up 0.6
percent at $15.81 an ounce
    Platinum gained 1.84 percent to $904.8, snapping six
straight sessions of losses. Palladium rose 0.8 percent
to $661 an ounce, on track for its biggest one-day rise in two
weeks.

 (Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York and Swati Verma
in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Meredith Mazzilli)

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