Gold treads lower as dollar gains on stronger US data

Gold slipped on Thursday to its lowest in nearly a week, as the U.S. dollar edged further away from three-year lows propped up by stronger-than-expected economic data from the United States.

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,324.90 per ounce, as of 0402 GMT. Earlier in the session, it touched its lowest since Jan. 12 at $1,323.70.

In the previous session, it fell 0.8 percent, posting its worst one-day percentage decline since December 7.

U.S. gold futures for February delivery slipped 1 percent to $1,325.7 per ounce.

Better-than-expected industrial production numbers from the United States reversed the yellow metal’s trend with stop-loss selling hammering the market, MKS PAMP Group trader Jason Cerisola said.

U.S. industrial production increased more than expected in December as unseasonably cold weather at the end of the month boosted demand for heating, but manufacturing output barely rose, pointing to moderate growth in the industrial sector.

“Technically, $1,326 will act as a support and holding that could push prices to test $1,360-$1,364,” said Amit Kumar Gupta, portfolio management services head at Adroit Financial Services.

Analysts pointed that a correction in digital currencies could support gold.

“Brokers in Europe report investors have increasingly been asking about switching from cryptocurrencies into gold,” ANZ analysts said in a research note.

On Wednesday, bitcoin fell more than 10 percent to below $10,000 for the first time since Dec. 1 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp Exchange. The biggest digital currency has lost half its value since it peaked near $20,000 about a month ago.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.33 percent at 90.844 after hitting 90.113 on Wednesday, its lowest since December 31, 2014.

Spot gold is expected to fall to $1,311 per ounce, as it has broken a support at $1,329, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

In other precious metals, silver was flat at $17.01 per ounce, while palladium fell 0.2 percent to $1,112.53 per ounce.

Platinum dipped 0.1 percent to $997.24 per ounce,after touching its highest since Sept. 8 at $1,006.60 in the previous session. Source: Reuters