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Gold steady as dollar claws back some losses
[LONDON] Gold prices were down slightly on Monday as the dollar clawed back some recent losses and stocks rose, but worries about US inflation kept buyers in the metal.
Spot gold was down 0.11 per cent at US$1,346.31 an ounce at 1.30pm EST (1830 GMT). US April gold futures slipped 0.54 per cent to US$1,348.90 per ounce.
Gold rose 2.4 per cent last week in its biggest weekly gain in more than five months.
"Gold is doing relatively well in a risk-on environment. The safe-haven appeal (in gold) is a bit in question but it has a lot to do with movements in the dollar which has recovered somewhat," said ABN AMRO commodity strategist Georgette Boele.
The dollar index , which measures the currency against a basket of currencies, was up 0.1 per cent after shedding 1.4 per cent last week.
Investors piled into gold last week on concerns that US inflation could heat up.
In wider markets, world stocks extended their recovery on Monday while oil inched higher.
"The 10-year bonds across the globe are up, so the price of gold came off a bit on that," said Walter Pehowich, executive vice-president of investment services at Dillon Gage Metals.
The minutes of the US Federal Reserve's last policy meeting, held on Jan 30-31 amid the equities tumble, are due on Wednesday.
Besides the outlook on rates, investors will be keen to see what the Fed made of the market gyrations.
On Friday, a 37-page indictment filed by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies with meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. Russia dismissed the allegations as absurd.
Gold is often used as a hedge against geopolitical uncertainty.
Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long positions in COMEX gold in the week to Feb 13, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.
Trading is expected to be slower than usual this week due Lunar New Year celebrations in China. Monday is also a market holiday in the United States for Presidents Day.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.39 per cent to 824.54 tonnes on Friday.
Among other precious metals, silver was down slightly at US$16.657 an ounce after falling 1.2 per cent in the previous session.
Platinum was up 0.25 per cent at US$1,005.00 an ounce, after earlier touching its highest in over three weeks at US$1,013.50.
Palladium fell 1.1 per cent to US$1,033.00 an ounce after touching its highest in about two weeks earlier in the session.
"Palladium has been expensive and overvalued for a long time now so I could see it go lower from here," ABN AMRO's Boelle said.