Gold prices hold steady amid weaker dollar

BENGALURU: Gold prices were steady early on Thursday after hitting their highest in two weeks in the previous session, with improved appetite for risk weighing on the US dollar.

FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold was steady at $1,225.70 per ounce at 0123 GMT. Prices on Wednesday marked their strongest since Nov. 11 at $1,230.07 per ounce.

US gold futures were down 0.2 per cent at $1,226.1 per ounce.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was lower in Asian trade.

Asian shares stepped ahead cautiously, though rising US interest rates and escalating trade tensions kept financial markets on edge amid signs of slackening global growth.

Data on Wednesday showed weekly jobless claims in the US rose to a more than four-month high and new orders for US-made capital goods were unexpectedly flat in October.

The US economy is expanding at a 2.5 per cent annualised rate in the fourth quarter, based on data on durable goods orders and home resales in October, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow forecast model showed on Wednesday.

Trade tensions and higher interest rates are slowing the global economy, though for now there are no signs of a sharp downturn, the OECD said on Wednesday, lowering its outlook for next year.

The United States and China clashed on Wednesday at a World Trade Organization meeting with a US envoy accusing Beijing of using the WTO to pursue “non-market” policies and a Chinese official saying it was Washington that was flouting the rulebook.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she would be returning to Brussels on Saturday to hammer out an outline of Britain’s future ties with the European Union after her meeting with the head of the bloc’s executive on Wednesday failed to bridge the gaps.

The European Commission took the first step on Wednesday toward disciplining Italy over its expansionary 2019 budget after Rome refused to change it, raising the stakes in a dispute that has alarmed the whole euro zone and could eventually lead to fines.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.27 per cent to 762.92 tonnes on Wednesday.

Russia produced 231.65 tonnes of gold in the first nine months of 2018, up from 227.88 tonnes in the same period last year, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

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