November 23, 2017 / 7:22 PM / in a year

PRECIOUS-Gold steadies as dollar weakens further

    * Cautious FOMC minutes send dollar lower in holiday week
    * Chinese stocks slide dampens risk appetite
    * Markets in United States, Japan closed on Thursday

 (Updates price movements)
    By Maytaal Angel and Ethan Lou
    LONDON/CALGARY, Alberta, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices
steadied on Thursday to trade nearly flat after rising nearly 1
percent in the previous session as the dollar extended its swoon
amid reduced expectations for U.S. interest rate hikes next
    The dollar suffered its biggest drop in five months on
Wednesday after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve showed
"many participants" were concerned inflation would stay below
the bank's 2 percent target for longer than expected.       
    The greenback was still nursing losses on Thursday,
supporting dollar-priced gold by making it cheaper for non-U.S.
    Spot gold        settled 0.1 percent lower at $1,290.80 per
ounce on Thursday.
    U.S. gold futures         for December delivery were 0.1
percent lower at $1,290.70.
    "Gold is obviously still in need of a spark, but we still
see a chance of it reaching our year-end target of $1,325," said
Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.
    "The outlook for inflation is still low, long yields will
remain subdued and then we have geopolitical risks rising this
year. That's enough to prompt investors to buy gold, even though
the growth outlook is still strong across the world."
    Trading was lighter than usual on Thursday, with Japanese
financial markets shut for a public holiday and U.S. markets
closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
    In other precious metals, silver        slipped 0.5 percent
to $17.07 an ounce, platinum        fell 0.6 percent to $933 an
ounce, while palladium        was up 0.7 percent at $1,010 an
    In global markets, Chinese stocks suffered their biggest
fall in almost two years, weighing on global equities, denting
risk appetite and providing underlying support for gold, broadly
seen as a safe-haven asset.            
    With Chinese stocks falling, low-yielding currencies - such
as the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc - remained firmly
supported against the dollar.
    Earlier this week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen stuck by her
prediction that U.S. inflation would soon rebound, but offered
an unusually strong caveat that she was "very uncertain" about
this and open to the possibility that prices could remain low
for years to come.             
    Holdings of the largest gold-backed, exchange-traded fund
(ETF), New York's SPDR Gold Trust GLD, and the largest
silver-backed ETF, New York's iShares Silver Trust SLV, were
unchanged on Wednesday.             
    Spot gold may test a support at $1,283 per ounce as it
failed to break resistance at $1,297, according to Reuters
technical analyst Wang Tao.                 

 (Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru;
editing by Alexander Smith and G Crosse)
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