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PRECIOUS-Gold up more than 1 pct on weaker dollar, technical upswing
January 5, 2017 / 3:39 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold up more than 1 pct on weaker dollar, technical upswing

* Spot gold seen rising to $1,182/oz -technicals
    * Platinum hits near 8-week high
    * Palladium up 9.6 pct so far this week

 (Updates prices, adds comment)
    By Sethuraman N R
    Jan 5 (Reuters) - Gold touched its highest in four weeks on
Thursday as the U.S. dollar stepped further away from a 14-year
peak hit earlier this week, and on a technical rebound.
    Spot gold was up 1.3 percent at $1,178.36 an ounce by
0641 GMT. It touched a high of $1,178.62, its best since Dec. 7.
    
    U.S. gold futures climbed 1.2 percent to $1,178.50
per ounce.
    The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was down 0.7 percent at 102.030.
 
    "It's more of a dollar sell-off than a gold move," said
Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA in
Singapore.
    "The dollar is weak across the board and gold itself has
technically broken out of its down channel in December." 
    Spot gold has risen 5 percent from the more-than 10-month
lows touched in December.
    Spot gold is expected to rise to $1,182 per ounce, according
to Reuters' market analyst for commodities and energy
technicals, Wang Tao. 
    A firmer dollar curbs demand for commodities priced in the
greenback by making them more expensive for holders of other
currencies.
    Buying from China, the biggest consumer of the yellow metal,
is also supporting the recent rally. 
    "The Chinese New Year is around the corner. Gold kilobar
demand is picking up right now with strong premiums in the
mainland," a precious metals trader in Japan said.
    Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, were unchanged on Wednesday at
813.87 tonnes. They have dropped about 14 percent since the U.S.
presidential election in November. 
    Spot silver was up 1.5 percent at $16.66. It earlier
hit a 3-week high of $16.70.
    Platinum, which rose to a near 8-week high of
$960.10, was 2 percent higher at $959.
    Palladium rose more than 1 percent to hit a near
4-week high of $747.80. 
    "Palladium prices have been rising on the back of strong
December car sales in the U.S.," the Japan-based trader said.
    Palladium is widely used to clean up exhaust emissions from
gasoline-powered vehicles.
    The metal has risen 9.6 percent so far this week, its best
since the week ending July 1.
    

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford and Biju Dwarakanath)

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