Gold futures edge lower as oil, equities rebound

New York (Dec 11)  Gold futures edged lower on Thursday, as oil and equity markets rebounded from recent losses, dampening the appeal of the precious metal.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for February delivery declined $5.70, or 0.46%, to trade at $1,223.80 a troy ounce during European morning hours.

A day earlier, gold hit $1,238.90 a troy ounce, the most since October 23, before settling at $1,229.40, down $2.60, or 0.21%, as investors monitored political uncertainty in Greece and lower oil prices.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,199.50, the low from December 9, and resistance at $1,244.90, the high from October 23.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery dipped 13.2 cents, or 0.77%, to trade at $17.05 a troy ounce.

Market players shrugged off concerns over political instability in Greece and new restrictions on China's debt markets ahead of a key data release from the European Central Bank.

The ECB will publish results of its second round of cheap long-term loans to the region's banks, known as a targeted long-term refinancing operation, or TLTRO, later in the session.

A lower-than-expected take up will add to expectations for quantitative easing by the ECB.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on retail sales, as well as the weekly report on jobless claims for further indications on the strength of the economy.

Gold prices are likely to remain vulnerable in the near-term amid indications a strengthening U.S. economic recovery will force the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates sooner and faster than previously thought.

Expectations of higher borrowing rates going forward is considered bearish for gold, as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are on the rise.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for March delivery inched up 1.0 cents, or 0.34%, to trade at $2.904 a pound.

Source:  MoneyControl