December 27, 2016 / 3:58 AM / 8 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold ticks higher in light trade after holiday weekend

* Specs cut net longs in COMEX gold for 6th straight week
    * Platinum snaps six session decline
    * Silver, palladium set for biggest daily gain in two weeks

 (Adds comment, updates prices)
    By Swati Verma
    BENGALURU, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose in Asian
trade on Tuesday on light buying out of China, but trading was
thin after the long Christmas weekend, even as a firm dollar
capped the gains.
    Spot gold was up half a percent at $1,139.20 an ounce
by 0705 GMT, after earlier edging down to $1,131.35. 
    U.S. gold futures rose 0.6 percent to $1,140.20 per
ounce.
    "It's pretty much Chinese demand at the moment, although
it's very thin," said Alex Thorndike, senior precious metals
dealer at MKS PAMP Group. 
    The dollar rose against the yen and euro as some investors
emerged out of the holiday lull to hunt for bargains as the
market entered the last trading stretch of the year. 
    "People are waiting until Trump becomes the U.S. President
and until we see his real policies or what he will do when he
takes the office," said Yuichi Ikemizu, head of commodity
trading at Standard Bank in Tokyo.
    "People are just watching the other markets like dollar and
stock markets and kind of expecting the stock market and
financial market to be good under Trump government. In that
case, people don't need gold and instead invest in stocks."
    The U.S. currency had climbed to a 10-month high of 118.660
yen mid-month on expectations of stronger growth after U.S
President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January. A firm
dollar curbs demand for commodities priced in the greenback by
making them more expensive for holders of other currencies. 
    Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday, in thin trade and with
little to guide them as most major markets were closed on Monday
for Christmas holidays. 
    Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long position
in COMEX gold for a sixth straight week in the week to Dec. 20,
Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. 
    Gold demand in India remained subdued last week despite a
sharp fall in prices to over 10-1/2 month lows as a severe cash
crunch and holidays kept buyers away from the market, while
premiums in China fell from near 3-year highs touched in the
prior week. 
    Among other precious metals, silver was up 1.2
percent at $15.91 an ounce- its biggest daily rise since Dec.
12.
    Platinum gained 1.3 percent to $900, snapping six
straight sessions of losses.
    Palladium rose nearly a percent at $662 an ounce, on
track for its biggest one-day rise in two weeks.

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani
Sarkar and Amrutha Gayathri)

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