Gold nudges up as dollar eases; palladium holds near multi-year peaks

Gold prices edged higher on Thursday, after marking a near three-week high in the previous session, as the dollar eased while palladium remained close to a more than 16-year peak touched on Wednesday.

Spot gold rose 0.2 percent at $1,283.81 per ounce at 0523 GMT. On Wednesday, it rose 0.4 percent and touched its highest since Oct. 20 at $1,287.13 an ounce.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery gained 0.1 percent at $1,284.90.

“Gold has been probably tracking the currency (U.S. dollar) because some of the other drivers which had pushed it to its recent highs have subsided, in particular the geo-politicalrisks and safe haven buying,” said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes.

“I think they’ll continue to trade around those currency moves.”

The U.S. dollar versus a basket of currencies edged 0.1 percent lower, while its near-term outlook was seen clouded by worries over possible delays to U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax reform plans.

“Although the dollar’s travails have brought a smile to long-suffering bullish gold traders, it is important to note there seems to be an absence of risk aversion premium in gold’s price and that its fate will be decided by the dollar alone,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with OANDA.

A U.S. Senate tax-cut bill, differing from one in the House of Representatives, was expected to be unveiled on Thursday, complicating a Republican tax overhaul push and increasing skepticism on Wall Street about the effort.

Spot gold may retest a resistance at $1,286 per ounce, a break above which could lead to a gain into the range of$1,292-$1,298, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Gold demand slid to its lowest in eight years in the last quarter as jewelry buying fell and inflows into bullion-backed exchange-traded funds dried up, data from the World Gold Council
showed on Thursday.

Among other metals, palladium gained 0.4 percent to $1,017.50 an ounce. It touched its highest since 2001 at $1,019 on Wednesday.

“There’s been an unease around the platinum market. The impact and weakening in demand in that sector has subsequently benefited palladium. That’s why we are seeing that kind of outperformance in the palladium market, which is also particularly tight,” ANZ’s Hynes said.

Palladium’s premium over platinum hovered near its highest since 2001. In September, palladium became more valuable than platinum for the first time in 16 years.

Platinum is more heavily used in diesel vehicles that have fallen out of favor since 2015’s Volkswagen emissions-rigging scandal.

Palladium has benefited from the switch to petrol engines and expectations for growth in hybrid electric vehicles, which tend to be gasoline-powered.

Meanwhile, silver was up 0.6 percent at $17.107 an ounce, while platinum gained 0.2 percent to $933 an ounce. Source: Reuters