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PRECIOUS-Gold steady in light trade as investors look to U.S. econ data
December 22, 2016 / 3:45 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady in light trade as investors look to U.S. econ data

* Several U.S. economic indicators due Thursday
    * SPDR Gold holdings down over 12 pct since November
    * Spot gold neutral in $1,121-$1,137 range -technicals
    * Palladium down for the 7th straight session

 (Recasts, adds comment, updates prices)
    By Swati Verma
    BENGALURU, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Gold fluttered in a narrow
range on Thursday in muted trading ahead of the holidays, with
market participants now waiting for a bunch of U.S. economic
data due later in the day.
    The United States will release a third revision of U.S.
third quarter gross domestic product along with durable goods
orders for November, and weekly initial jobless claims.
    The Federal Reserve, which hiked U.S. interest rates last
week, signaled three more increases next year compared with its
previous projection of two.
    Strong economic data could prompt the Fed to raise rates
sooner than later, pressuring gold prices as higher rates lower
demand for the non-interest-paying bullion, which is priced in
    Spot gold was steady at $1,131.76 an ounce by 0720
    U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,133.50
per ounce.
   "The market is in holiday mood already and we have very few
trading days before the new year. It is all going to be quiet as
the investors will be holding very thin margins," said Ronald
Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong. 
    The dollar index slipped 0.1 percent to 102.890. It
reached 103.65 on Tuesday, the highest since December 2002.
    "The dollar is very strong and gold is going to be under
pressure till Donald Trump takes over the U.S. presidency and
the focus will shift to how his polices are unfolding," said
    Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, continued to fall on
Wednesday, losing 0.43 percent to hit 824.54 tonnes. Holdings
are down over 12 percent since November. 
    "A lot of ETF buyers got in at unsatisfactory levels.
Clearly Trump's win was not expected by the market and the rise
in U.S. yields put further pressure on gold," said Jeffrey
Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA. 
    "A break below $1,100 will see another round of big
    Spot gold looks neutral in a range of $1,121-$1,137 per
ounce, and an escape could indicate a direction, according to
Wang Tao, Reuters analyst for commodities technicals.
    "With Christmas only a few days away we expect business and
liquidity to further dry up into today and tomorrow and remain
quiet through to the new year," said Alex Thorndike, senior
precious metals dealer at MKS PAMP Group.
    Silver slipped 0.3 percent to $15.89 an ounce, while 
platinum was down 0.2 percent at $913.50.
    Palladium fell for the seventh straight session, down
0.6 percent at $653.75. 

 (Reporting by Swati Verma and Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru;
Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Biju Dwarakanath)

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