Gold prices firm on weaker dollar

Gold held steady on Wednesday after falling from two-month highs in the previous session, buoyed by a weaker dollar and uncertainty over the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Spot gold prices were firm at $1,209.54 per ounce at 0033 GMT. On Tuesday, they hit their strongest since Nov. 22 at $1,219.59.

U.S. gold futures slipped 0.1 percent to $1,209 per ounce.

Trump formally withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on Monday and told U.S. manufacturing executives he would impose a hefty border tax on firms that import products after moving American factories overseas.

Trump on Tuesday also signed orders smoothing the path for the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines in a move to expand energy infrastructure and roll back key Obama administration environmental actions.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.1 percent to 100.250

U.S. home resales fell more than expected in December as the supply of houses in the market dropped to levels last seen in 1999, but the housing market recovery remained intact against the backdrop of a tightening labor market.

The euro zone started 2017 by maintaining solid economic growth as a weaker currency boosted orders for goods and services, a survey showed, but rising political risks could soon take their toll.

The European Central Bank could soon start planning an exit from its unprecedented stimulus programme, Executive Board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger said on Tuesday, a rare public discussion of ending its asset buying scheme.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.37 percent to 804.11 tonnes on Tuesday from 807.07 tonnes on Monday.

The gold beneath Egypt’s desert could make it a top global producer, but the investment terms on offer are driving away small explorers whose skills the country needs to unlock its mineral wealth.

Russia produced 267.65 tonnes of gold in January-November 2016, down from 268.04 tonnes in the same period of 2015, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.

South African bullion producer Anglogold Ashanti will hold back on job cuts announced last week and will instead redeploy most of the workers within the firm, the National Union of Mineworkers said on Tuesday.

Source: Reuters