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Gold edges higher in thin trade after holiday weekend

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Gold prices rose slightly on Tuesday but trading was thin as investors looked for directions after the long Christmas weekend, even as a firm US dollar capped gains.

[BENGALURU] Gold prices rose slightly on Tuesday but trading was thin as investors looked for directions after the long Christmas weekend, even as a firm US dollar capped gains.

The US dollar rose against the yen and euro as some investors emerged out of the holiday lull to hunt for bargains as the market entered the last trading stretch of the year.

Spot gold was up 0.3 per cent at US$1,136.80 an ounce by 0310 GMT, after earlier edging down to US$1,131.35. US gold futures rose 0.4 per cent to US$1,138.20 per ounce.

"People are waiting until Trump becomes the US President and until we see his real policies or what he will do when he takes the office," said Yuichi Ikemizu, head of commodity trading at Standard Bank in Tokyo.

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Market voices on:

"People are just watching the other markets like dollar and stock markets and kind of expecting the stock market and financial market to be good under Trump government. In that case, people don't need gold and instead invest in stocks."

The US currency had climbed to a 10-month high of 118.660 yen mid-month on expectations of stronger growth after US President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January. A firm US dollar curbs demand for commodities priced in the greenback by making them more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday, in thin trade and with little to guide them as most major markets were closed on Monday for Christmas holidays.

Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long position in Comex gold for a sixth straight week in the week to Dec 20, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed.

Gold demand in India remained subdued last week despite a sharp fall in prices to over 10-1/2 month lows as a severe cash crunch and holidays kept buyers away from the market, while premiums in China fell from near three-year highs touched in the prior week.

Among other precious metals, silver was up half a per cent at US$15.80 an ounce. Platinum gained over one per cent to US$898, while palladium rose 1.1 per cent to US$663.22 an ounce - its biggest daily rise in nearly a month.

REUTERS

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