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Gold steadies as dollar pauses but further weakness seen

Gold steadied on Monday as the dollar rally paused and European shares fell, but it remained near a three-month low after a U.S. jobs report boosted expectations that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates soon.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,166.72 an ounce by 2:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT), after marking its biggest daily loss on Friday since Oct. 1, 2013.

U.S. gold for April delivery settled up $2.20 an ounce at $1,164.30.

“Data on Friday was so significantly higher than expectated that the market started to think that the Fed will have to start changing their language at the next meeting,” Citi analyst David Wilson said.

On Friday, the Labor Department’s employment report showed that U.S. employers stepped up hiring in February and the jobless rate fell to its lowest since May 2008, sending Treasury yields higher.

Higher interest rates could dent demand for assets that do not pay interest, such as gold. (more…)

Gold edged lower on Tuesday and was heading for a second straight monthly fall, pressured by expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will increase interest rates this year.

Bullion has fallen 3 percent since hitting a three-week high above $1,200 an ounce last week, as the dollar gained after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday signalled a rate hike could be likely later this year.

Citing sustained gains in the U.S. economy, Yellen’s remarks halted gold’s longest rally since 2012, that had been spurred by hopes the Fed would take it slow in raising rates.

“Gold’s inability to hold over the psychological $1,200 level, which it recently cleared, suggests that bullion may be susceptible to a further consolidation of gains,” said HSBC analyst James Steel.

“Bullion may weaken further in the near term, we believe.”

Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,181.80 an ounce by 0629 GMT, after touching a one-week low of $1,179.55.

Bullion has lost 2.5 percent so far in March, and is on track for a third quarterly drop.

U.S. gold for April delivery edged down 0.3 percent to $1,181.30 an ounce. (more…)

PRECIOUS-Gold turns lower on firm dollar, set for 2nd monthly fall

Gold turned lower on Tuesday, pressured by the firm U.S. dollar and weak oil prices, and with expectations that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates this year pushing bullion toward its second monthly decline.

Gold has fallen 3 percent since hitting a three-week high last week above $1,200 an ounce after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday signaled a rate hike could be likely later this year.

Yellen’s remarks on sustained gains in the U.S. economy halted a seven-day rally in bullion,- the longest rising streak since 2012. The gains had been spurred by hopes the Fed would take it slow in raising rates.

“Yellen has managed to do a balancing act at the end of the last Fed meeting, on one hand removing the patience language, on the other giving the impression that rates would rise at a more sedate pace than the market initially expected,” Natixis analyst Nic Brown said. (more…)

PRECIOUS-Gold falls 1 pct as Yellen signals US rate hike on track

Gold dropped for a second straight session on Monday, slipping further from a three-week high, as the dollar climbed after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled the U.S. central bank may be on course to raise interest rates later this year.

Bullion may be set to give up recent gains fueled by the Fed’s March policy statement that it was prepared to move more slowly in hiking U.S. rates than the market expected. The metal rose for seven consecutive sessions after the Fed’s meeting this month in its longest rally since 2012.

On Friday, Yellen said an increase in the Fed’s benchmark rate “may well be warranted later this year” given sustained improvement in U.S. economic conditions.

“Yellen’s latest comments might just change the course of gold and cause a downward movement in the price from hereon,” said Howie Lee, analyst at Phillip Futures, who sees gold dropping to as low as $1,180.

Spot gold fell as much as 1 percent to $1,186.75 an ounce and was off 0.9 percent at $1,188.65 by 0732 GMT. It touched $1,219.40 on Thursday, its loftiest since March 2. (more…)

PRECIOUS-Gold eyes 2nd monthly loss as U.S. rate hike in focus

Gold on Tuesday hovered near the previous session’s lows and was heading for a second straight monthly fall, pressured by expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will increase interest rates this year.

FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold was little changed at $1,186.15 an ounce by 0017 GMT, after falling as much as 1.4 percent to $1,182.05 on Monday.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday that an increase in the central bank’s benchmark rate “may well be warranted later this year” given continued improvement in U.S. economic conditions, sending the dollar higher and pulling gold further away from a recent three-week peak.

Bullion is down more than 2 percent so far in March. It is nearly flat for the quarter.

U.S. gold for April delivery edged up 0.1 percent to $1,186 an ounce.

U.S. jobs data due on Friday, when many will be away for the Easter long weekend, will be a major event this week and a robust report could see investors position for tighter monetary policy sooner rather than later. (more…)

PRECIOUS-Gold dips after 7-day rally but set for second weekly gain

Gold eased on Friday as traders booked profits after a seven-day rally and as the dollar rebounded on strong U.S. data, but the metal still looked set to post its second straight weekly gain on expectations U.S. interest rates will stay low for longer.

Tensions in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia and its allies launched air strikes in Yemen provided some support to gold, typically seen as a safe-haven asset.

Spot gold eased 0.3 percent to $1,199.95 an ounce by 0755 GMT. The metal jumped on Thursday to $1,219.40 – its highest since March 2 – in a knee-jerk reaction to the attacks in Yemen. It later pared gains to close near $1,200.

“Gold is weakening because of profit-taking and a slightly stronger dollar,” said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong. (more…)

PRECIOUS-Gold snaps 7-day rally ahead of Yellen speech; set for 2nd weekly gain

Gold fell on Friday, snapping a seven-day rally as investors remained cautious ahead of comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, but the metal still looked set to post its second straight weekly gain.

Despite Friday’s losses, gold was on track to finish the week up around 1.5 percent after its longest winning stretch since August 2012.

Yellen will speak in San Francisco on monetary policy in a speech scheduled for 1945 GMT and traders will be listening for clues on when the Fed may begin tightening monetary policy.

“Yellen has been accused of being too dovish and maybe she wants to react to that by making her speech sound a little bit less dovish,” Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said.

Spot gold eased 0.4 percent to $1,203.98 an ounce by 2:36 p.m. EDT (1836 GMT). The metal jumped 2 percent on Thursday to its highest since March 2 at $1,219.40 in reaction to tensions in the Middle East. (more…)

PRECIOUS-Gold extends gains to 3-week high in longest rally since 2012

Gold extended gains to a seventh session on Thursday in its longest winning streak since 2012 as soft U.S. data boosted expectations the Federal Reserve would keep interest rates low for the time being.

Spot gold rose 0.8 percent to $1,204.20 an ounce by 0739 GMT, after earlier hitting $1,204.60, its highest since March 5. The seventh day of gains matches a similar stretch in August 2012.

“It took quite a bit of work to chew through offers lined up sub-$1,200 and with moderate follow-through buying it looks as though getting through $1,205-$1,210 will be important for further upside,” said MKS Group trader Sam Laughlin.

Another trader said more weakness in the U.S. dollar and soft data could further boost the rally. (more…)

PRECIOUS-Gold pares gains after Yemen air strikes rattle markets

Gold pared gains after hitting a 3-1/2-week high on Thursday, after a knee-jerk reaction to escalating tensions in the Middle East knocked stocks and drove investors into assets viewed as lower-risk, such as bullion and German bonds.

Silver rose nearly 3 percent to the highest level in more than five weeks before coming off its highs.

Stock markets worldwide were knocked lower and oil prices jumped after Saudi Arabia and its allies conducted air strikes in Yemen that fueled worries Middle East energy shipments may be put at risk. Wall Street later recovered.

The dollar was down earlier against the euro but recovered in New York trading on the view central bank policy was more favorable for the U.S. currency.

Spot gold reached a peak of $1,219.40 an ounce, before retreating to trade up 0.6 percent at $1,195.25 at 2:47 p.m. EDT (1847 GMT). U.S. gold for April delivery settled up $7.80 an ounce at $1,204.80. (more…)

PRECIOUS-Gold hits 2-1/2-week high as German data lifts euro

Gold hit 2-1/2-week highs on Wednesday, rising for the sixth straight session as upbeat German sentiment data helped drive the euro higher against the dollar, and as expectations for an imminent U.S. interest rate rise receded.

The euro was up 0.4 percent versus the U.S. currency after a survey on German business morale fueled expectations that a euro zone economic recovery is strengthening, extending gains after U.S. durable goods data missed expectations.

Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,196.35 an ounce by 2:52 p.m. EDT (1852 GMT), having earlier touched its highest since March 6 at $1,199.70. U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled up $5.60 an ounce, or by 0.5 percent, at $1,197.

Spot silver was up 5 percent at $16.96 an ounce after rising to a five-week high at $17.11.

“Gold is grinding higher as traders are reluctant buyers at this stage … driven by lower bond yields and the current dollar wobble,” Saxo Bank’s head of commodity research Ole Hansen said.

Gold’s six-day rally, its longest since August 2012, came after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen sounded a cautious note last week on the U.S. economy and potential interest rate increase. (more…)

FBI offers $25,000 reward for tips on North Carolina gold heist

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Wednesday it was offering up to $25,000 for information about the recent theft of an estimated $4.9 million in gold from an armored truck parked along a highway in North Carolina.

Authorities are searching for robbers who they said attacked an armored truck stopped on the side of a remote stretch of Interstate 95 near Wilson on March 1 and took off with the valuable gold bars.

The truck from TransValue Inc, a Miami-based company that specializes in transporting valuables to banks, was traveling from Miami to Massachusetts when it was robbed. It had taken the route along I-95 one other time, North Carolina authorities said.

“Given the gold shipment originated in South Florida, investigators believe that the robbers may have a South Florida nexus,” FBI Special Agent Michael Leverock said in a statement. (more…)