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Gold rises on weak dollar; palladium dips from 16-year high

[NEW YORK] Gold was higher on Thursday as a weaker dollar pushed prices during the session to a three-week high for the second time in successive days, while palladium dipped but stayed close to 16-year peak hit during the session.

Spot gold was up 0.4 per cent at US$1,286.27 an ounce by 1.42pm EST (1842 GMT), after touching US$1,288.13, its highest since Oct 20.

US gold futures for December delivery settled up US$3.80, or 0.3 per cent, at US$1,287.50 per ounce.

The dollar fell to a six-day low against a basket of currencies, as investors balked at emerging details of the US Senate Republicans' version of a tax cut plan.

Market voices on:

"Although the dollar's travails have brought a smile to long-suffering bullish gold traders, it is important to note there seems to be an absence of risk aversion premium in gold's price and that its fate will be decided by the dollar alone,"said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with OANDA.

US Senate Republicans' version of the tax bill will delay corporate rate cuts by one year, and will not repeal the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, Republican Senate Finance Committee member Bill Cassidy said ahead of the plan's release.

Though gold still drew short-term support from uncertainty over the US tax bill, "the overall trend has shifted into a neutral to negative trend, even though you've got pretty solid demand coming out of speculators," said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist for US Bank Wealth Management.

Data from the World Gold Council showing that gold demand slid in the last quarter to its lowest in eight years as jewellery buying fell and inflows into bullion-backed exchange-traded funds dried up.

Among other metals, palladium was down 0.2 per cent at US$1,011 an ounce, after hitting US$1.026.10, its highest since 2001.

Palladium's premium over platinum hovered near its highest since 2001. In September, palladium became more valuable than platinum for the first time in 16 years.

"There's been an unease around the platinum market. The impact and weakening in demand in that sector has subsequently benefited palladium," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes.

Platinum is more heavily used in diesel vehicles, which have fallen out of favor since 2015's Volkswagen emissions-rigging scandal.

Palladium has benefited from the switch to petrol engines and expectations for growth in hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, silver shed 0.2 per cent at US$16.98 an ounce while platinum gained 0.8 per cent at US$938.30 an ounce.