Gold Price rallies above $1,200/oz as shorts take cover

New York (Apr 27)  Gold jumped more than 2 percent on Monday above $1,200 (75,954 rupees) an ounce, on track for its biggest one-day rise since January as the rally had some dealers scrambling to cover short positions and the May options expiry triggered more buying.

The more volatile silver market rallied 5 percent, also on track for its biggest surge since January, supported by the gold market.

Spot gold XAU= was up 2.1 percent at $1,203.30 an ounce at 2:56 p.m. EDT, well above the prior session's five-week low. U.S. gold futures GCv1 for June delivery settled up 2.4 percent, at $1,203.20 an ounce.

"It's quite undervalued and we've had a long period of consolidation around the $1,200 mark," said Mark O'Byrne, research director of bullion dealer GoldCore, noting that the breach of the $1,200 level spurred additional technical buying.

O'Byrne said that while there were several factors spurring the session's rally, short-covering could be the primary driver

Options-related buying also buoyed prices with U.S. May options GC1200E5 set to expire at the end of the day with relatively heavy open interest at the $1,200 strike price, traders said.

The spot market jumped around $8 within a five-minute span shortly after 10 a.m. EDT, when technical buyers lifted prices above the 50-day moving average.

The dollar .DXY fell to a three-week low against a basket of currencies and may have forced "reluctant bears" out of their bearish positions, Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst for, said in a note.

"Gold's technical outlook appears more constructive all of a sudden," wrote Razaqzada.

Investors will watch the Federal Reserve's policy statement on Wednesday for clues on the timing of a U.S. rate increase. Signs that policy will be tightened sooner rather than later could pressure gold.

"Market consensus does not expect the first rate hike to be announced at this week's meeting, but (Fed) comments are likely going to be closely watched especially in light of Q1 GDP, which is also due to be released this Wednesday," UBS said in a note.

Physical gold demand in the major Asian markets was positive after last week's price fall, dealers said, with Shanghai premiums moving up towardS $4 an ounce.

Spot silver XAG= was up 4.4 percent at $16.38 an ounce. Spot platinum XPT= was up 2 percent to $1,144.85 an ounce and palladium XPD= was up 1.1 percent at $778.80 an ounce.

Source: Reuters