January 3, 2018 / 3:25 AM / 16 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold hits 3-1/2-month highs before dipping on dollar recovery

    * Technicals show gold's rally is overdone in the short-term
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust fell 0.14 pct on Tuesday
         
    * Palladium off record highs hit on Tuesday
    * Investors await Fed minutes due later on Wednesday

 (Updates prices)
    By Sethuraman N R
    Jan 3 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged down on Wednesday after
hitting a 3-1/2-month high, as the dollar recovered from its
lows and technical indicators pointed to a short-term
correction.
    Spot gold        fell 0.4 percent to $1,312.35 an ounce at
0257 GMT. The precious metal earlier hit $1,321.33, its highest
level since Sept. 15.
    U.S. gold futures         were mostly unchanged at $1,315.60
an ounce. 
    "Relative strength index shows the metal at overbought
levels, which may lead to short term selling," ScotiaMocatta
analysts said in a research note.
    The 14-day relative strength index (RSI) for spot gold
touched 75 on Tuesday, it highest since September 2017. An RSI
above 70 indicates a commodity is overbought and could lead to a
price correction.
    The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1 percent at
91.964 after falling to a more than three-month low Tuesday.
      
    The dollar posted its biggest annual drop since 2003 in
2017, helping gold to an annual increase of more than 13
percent. Bullion surged $55 an ounce in the last three weeks of
2017 alone.
    Gold's medium-term outlook appeared positive, analysts said.
    "At this moment we are expecting some kind of inflationary
expectations. People are more optimistic with stock rally are
also expecting returns in commodities including gold," said Mark
To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung Financial Group.
    "We should tap the short term opportunities to go long as
gold has crossed $1,300 with a momentum. It may act as a
support, while $1,340 could be an immediate resistance level and
we might reach $1,400 in the first quarter this year."
    Spot gold may break a resistance at $1,326 per ounce and
rise towards the next resistance at $1,380 in three months,
according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.             
    Later on Wednesday, investors will turn their attention to
the minutes of the Federal Reserve's December policy meeting,
when it raised interest rates for the third time in 2017.
    Further cues are likely from U.S. economic data this week,
including jobs figures on Friday.
    Among other precious metals, spot palladium        fell 0.1
percent to $1,090.80 an ounce, after hitting a record high on
Tuesday at $1,096.50 
    The metal, which soared 57 percent in 2017, has been surging
on fears of short supplies. 
    Analysts expect that about 80 percent of global palladium
demand will come from autocatalysts for gasoline-powered cars,
which many consumers now prefer over diesel-fuelled vehicles.   
 
    Spot silver        fell 0.8 percent to $17.05 an ounce,
after hitting a six-week high at $17.21 earlier in the session.
    Spot platinum        fell 0.8 percent to $936.10 an ounce. 

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; editing by
Richard Pullin and Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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