Gold prices gain on weaker US dollar

Gold prices edged up in Asian trade on Monday, rising above the lowest level touched in 10-1/2 months the previous week, as the US dollar slipped against a basket of currencies. Spot gold edged 0.3 percent higher to $1,137.10 an ounce by 0055 GMT. The bullion touched $1,122.35 on Thursday, its weakest since Feb. 2. U.S. gold futures gained 0.1 percent to $1,139 per ounce. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.2 percent at 102.730. The dollar hit a 14-year high of 103.56 following the Federal Reserve’s hawkish interest rate forecasts on Wednesday.

The Federal Reserve will likely need to raise interest rates more than three times next year and faces challenges in gradually cooling off the US economy, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said on Friday. US homebuilding fell more than expected in November, tumbling from a nine-year high as construction activity declined broadly, the latest sign of slower economic growth in the fourth quarter. Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.63 percent to 836.99 tonnes on Friday.

Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long position in COMEX gold contracts for the fifth straight week, taking it to a 10-month low in the week to Dec. 13, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

Gold premiums in China surged to their highest in nearly three years this week on fears of limited supply of the metal, while demand in India remained weak amid low prices due to a severe cash crunch following the government’s demonetisation move. Two Canadian gold miners shuffled their executive ranks on Friday, as Goldcorp Inc promoted a senior vice president to replace Chief Operating Officer George Burns, hired by Eldorado Gold Corp as chief executive officer. Argonaut Gold said on Friday that Mexico’s environmental authority had denied its environmental permit to develop the San Antonio mine and it would consider legal action, resubmitting a revised study or more dialogue.


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