NEW YORK/BENGALURU (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Tuesday to a near two-week high on weak Japanese inflation data, but trading was thin with traders in the United States returning after the long Christmas weekend and London markets still closed.
Most analysts believe broad concerns about European banks and uncertainty around U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s policies will likely support gold prices in 2017.
However, the price of gold could tumble over the near term if U.S. bond yields continue to climb, they said.
Markets including the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada were closed for the holidays on Tuesday.
Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,139.42 an ounce by 2:48 p.m. EST (1948 GMT) after hitting its highest since Dec. 14 at $1,148.98 an ounce.
U.S. gold futures GCcv1 ended the session 0.45 percent higher at $1,138.80 per ounce.
Data showed Chinese industry racked up its strongest profit growth in three months in November, suggesting the world’s second-largest economy was improving. In Japan, however, core consumer prices fell in annual terms for the ninth month as household spending slumped.
“Maybe a top is in on Japan’s growth and with that you could start to see stimulus measures and that’s why gold and silver ticked up,” said Phillip Streible, senior commodities broker for RJO Futures in Chicago.
“I think with gold, we can realistically get back up to $1,250 an ounce in 2017,” Streible said, adding that equity markets were possibly due for a correction.
Equity markets in the U.S. were higher on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average resuming its climb towards 20,000 and the Nasdaq hitting a record.
Gold’s gains were limited by a strong dollar.
The dollar rose against the yen and euro after stronger-than-expected U.S. housing data and expectations for a hawkish Federal Reserve. [USD/]
The U.S. currency surged to a 14-year high against a basket of major currencies .DXY earlier this month after the Federal Reserve boosted the number of projected interest rate hikes for 2017. A firm dollar curbs demand for commodities priced in the greenback by making them more expensive for holders of other currencies.
“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 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.”
Among other precious metals, spot silver XAG= was up 1.6 percent at $15.965 an ounce.
Platinum XPT= gained 1.3 percent to $900 per ounce, snapping six straight sessions of losses. Palladium XPD= rose 2.8 percent to $674.4 an ounce, on track for its biggest one-day rise in more than a month.
Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York and Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Chizu Nomiyama