Gold price steadies near 2-week high as stocks, dollar retreat

New Yorkk (Dec 21)  Gold steadied near a two-week high on Thursday, supported by weakness in stocks and a retreat in the dollar versus the euro as markets awaited the signing of a new U.S. tax bill.

News that the Bank of Japan had left its expansionary monetary policy unchanged supported the U.S. currency versus the yen, however, holding the dollar index in a narrow range.

Gold, which is priced in dollars, is highly sensitive to moves in its exchange rate. Spot gold was at $1,265.45 an ounce as of 1025 GMT, little changed from late on Wednesday, after hitting its highest since Dec. 6 at $1,268.26. U.S. gold futures were broadly flat at $1,269.20 an ounce. 

    "We've seen a 'sell the fact' fall-back in the dollar and

equities since the passing of the tax reform legislation, which

has helped give some support to gold," Mitsubishi analyst

Jonathan Butler said. "But gold has failed to break out above

$1,270, suggesting market participants may be cautious about

taking big positions as we approach the year-end."

    "The crucial test will come if the rally in U.S. Treasury

yields continues as investors anticipate more interest rate

rises next year," it said. "If it does this could put pressure

on gold as a non-yielding asset."

    World markets offered a muted reception on Thursday to the

passage of U.S. tax cuts as potential benefits to company bottom

lines were already priced in. The dollar eased 0.1 percent

against the euro, meanwhile.           

    U.S. Treasury yields hit their highest in nine months on

Wednesday on optimism the U.S. tax overhaul would help boost

growth and as economic data improves.     

    Rising bond yields tend to lift the dollar and depress the

appeal of non-yielding bullion.

    From a technical perspective, gold is seeing a strong

recovery from its 200-week moving average at $1,232, Commerzbank

said in a weekly note. It neared that level earlier this month

after the Federal Reserve lifted interest rates.

    "The rally has reached the 23.6 percent retracement at

$1,265 and this is looking exposed," it said. "Above here will

allow for a move to the $1,282 three-month resistance line, with

a close above here necessary to restore upside pressure, (which

is) favoured."

    Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.2

percent at $16.14 an ounce, having climbed to a two-week peak of

$16.26 in the previous session.

    Platinum  was 0.6 percent lower at $913 an ounce,

after reaching its highest since Dec. 5 in the previous session.

 Palladium was up 0.7 percent to $1,032.15.

Reuters

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