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KHALEEJ TIMES, wednesday, Feb 14, 2018 | Jamadi Al Awwal 28,1439

Dubai gold price hits 1-week high, 22k priced at Dh151

Emirates: Gold prices rose for a third straight session on Wednesday to hit a one-week high, buoyed by a weaker dollar, while investors awaited US inflation data for clues on the pace of future US interest rate increases.

Spot gold, which is priced in dollars, was up 0.4 per cent at $1,334.75 an ounce, as of 0427 GMT. Earlier in the session, it hit $1,335.81, its highest since February 6.

Meanwhile, in Dubai, gold prices are Dh160.75 for 24-karat and 22-karat can be bought for Dh151.50.

US gold futures rose 0.5 per cent to $1,337.6 per ounce.

The dollar index was down 0.3 per cent against a basket of currencies at 89.436, its lowest in a week.      

A retreat in the greenback helped the bullion gain over 2 per cent from a one-month low of $1,306.81 hit last week.

"With the US dollar once again striking a bearish chord, the long gold set up looks favourable," said Stephen Innes, head of trading APAC at OANDA.

"However, with nearly 100 per cent of gold appeal trading off the back of US dollar weakness, the US CPI (consumer price index) reading could be a day of reckoning for gold bulls," Innes added.

The market on Wednesday looked forward to a US inflation report for the month of January, due to release later in the day, which could soothe, or incite, concerns of faster rate hikes globally.

Inflation can boost demand for safe-haven assets such as the bullion, which tends to gain in times of crisis. However, expectations that the US Federal Reserve will hike interest rates to fight inflation make the non-yielding metal less attractive.

"Recent price action is indicative of short-term positioning, with expectations of strength toward $1,335 - $1,340 as short positions are further tested," MKS PAMP Group trader Sam Laughlin said.

"The caveat to a short-term push higher, however, is the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday, which will remove physical demand from the market."

Spot gold is expected to edge up into a range of $1,343-$1,352 per ounce, as suggested by a retracement analysis, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.        

Meanwhile, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.36 per cent to 823.66 tonnes on Tuesday. Holdings rose after posting their worst weekly fall since July 30.

Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.4 per cent to $16.61 per ounce. Platinum climbed 0.6 per cent to $979.20, while palladium gained 0.5 percent to $990.10 per ounce.

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