Gold price gains on bargain hunting

Singapore (Aug 20)  Gold edged higher on Monday as investors found the metal attractive after prices fell to a 19-month low last week, while a rising dollar weighed on the market ahead of planned US-China trade talks.

The precious metal shed 2.2 per cent last week in its sixth straight weekly decline and worst weekly performance since December.

"Though the metal looks attractive at these levels, limited upside potential remains as a primary impediment," said Benjamin Lu, a commodities analyst at Phillip Futures.

Spot gold was up 0.2 per cent at $1,186.33 an ounce as of 0655 GMT, after touching its lowest since January 2017 at $1,159.96 on Thursday. US gold futures were up 0.7 per cent at $1,191.60 an ounce.

"Gold prices will remain highly susceptible to dollar strength in the near term," Lu said.

Gold has recently lost its appeal as a safe haven amid a Turkish currency crisis and trade disputes, as investors preferred the US dollar.

The metal has declined over 13 per cent from its April high on rising US interest rates and a soaring dollar.

But the dollar's advance has slowed ahead of lower-level trade talks between Chinese and US officials in Washington amid reports that the world's top two economies may meet on August 21 and 22.

The dollar index against a basket of six currencies was up 0.2 per cent on Monday, after hitting its highest since June 2017 last week and posting its worst decline in nearly a month on Friday.

Meanwhile, hedge funds and money managers increased their net short position in Comex gold contracts for a sixth straight week to a record in the week to August 14, data showed on Friday.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), fell 0.15 per cent to 772.24 tonnes on Friday from Thursday. Record short positions and liquidations in ETFs indicate that gold is due for a turnaround.

- Reuters

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