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Gold rises on weaker US dollar, caution over Trump

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Gold prices rose on Friday to remain on track for their fourth weekly gain in a row, buoyed by a weaker US dollar ahead of the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump later in the day.

[BENGALURU] Gold prices rose on Friday to remain on track for their fourth weekly gain in a row, buoyed by a weaker US dollar ahead of the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump later in the day.

Spot gold was up 0.3 per cent at US$1,207.80 per ounce by 0315 GMT, while US gold futures climbed 0.5 per cent to US$1,207.50 per ounce.

"There is a bit of safe-haven buying ahead of Trump's inauguration," said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.

Mr Trump's protectionist statements, with mixed promises of tax cuts and infrastructure spending, have increased demand for gold as a safe-haven.

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The metal has risen more than 7 per cent since dropping to its lowest in more than 10-1/2 months in December.

Spot gold may approach resistance at US$1,219 per ounce again as it failed to break support at US$1,196, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Better-than-expected jobs and housing data reinforced the view that the US economy is sufficiently robust to warrant rate rises, turning back recent falls for the US dollar and pushing 10-year bond yields to their highest since Jan 3. A strong US dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.2 per cent to 100.970.

However, US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen took a less hawkish stance on Thursday, suggesting the US central bank raise interest rates, albeit slowly, so as to not risk harm to the recovery the Fed has sought to nurture.

"The Fed is definitely going to raise rates this year, but we are not sure whether it will happen in the first half of the year. And, we have several events like the US debt ceiling and Brexit around the same time," Mr Leung said.

Gold is highly-sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the US dollar, in which it is priced.

In other precious metals, silver was 0.18-per cent higher at US$17.03 an ounce.

Platinum prices were firm at US$958 an ounce. The metal hit a low of US$943.75 in the previous session, its worst since Jan 5.

Palladium also remained steady at US$753 an ounce.

REUTERS

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