November 21, 2018 / 5:23 AM / 3 months ago

Gold rises on easing dollar, uncertain U.S. rate hike path

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Gold prices rose to a two-week high on Wednesday as the dollar slipped, with uncertainty on the pace of interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve also supporting the metal.

FILE PHOTO: An employee sorts gold bars in the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant in Vienna, Austria, December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

Spot gold XAU= rose 0.5 percent to $1,226.61 per ounce by 1:45 p.m EST (1845 GMT), having hit its highest since Nov. 7 at $1,230.07 in light trading ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

U.S. gold futures GCcv1 settled up $6.80, or 0.6 percent, at $1,228.

The dollar has been under pressure this week as cautious comments by Fed officials about a potential global slowdown raised doubts on the pace of rate hikes.

The doubts were compounded by data showing weekly jobless claims rose to a more than four-month high and new orders for U.S.-made capital goods were unexpectedly flat in October. [USD/]

“With the recent volatility in the equity markets and a miss in U.S. data, a lot of investors are questioning and wondering if the Fed is going to continue its hawkish path after the December meeting, and that is supporting gold,” said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

A weaker dollar makes bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies. The yellow metal’s correlation against the dollar index .DXY touched negative 0.690, a level last seen two months back.

“Gold is being supported at present largely by short-term technically driven investment demand for futures and physical metal,” said Jeffrey Christian, managing partner of CPM Group.

“Gold will likely be trading between $1,180 and $1,200 on the low end and $1,240 and $1,250 on the high end for the rest of the year.”

Gains in the metal were, however, capped by a bounce in equity markets following a sell-off. [MKTS/GLOB]

Market participants are focused on the G20 summit in Argentina later this month, when U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss their trade dispute.

“With macroeconomic risk now being supplemented by concerns over systemic financial risk, we expect portfolio allocation towards gold to edge higher towards year end,” analysts at BMO Capital Markets said in a note.

Among other precious metals, silver XAG= climbed 1.3 percent to $14.50 an ounce. It hit its highest since Nov. 8 at $14.55 in the previous session.

Palladium XPD= gained 0.9 percent at $1,149.99 per ounce, while platinum XPT= was also up 0.9 percent at $845.50 per ounce.

Reporting by Swati Verma Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis and Richard Chang

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