Gold & Silver

Gold holds firm near 2-week high

Reuters Singapore | Updated on March 24, 2015 Published on March 24, 2015

Gold held firm near a two-week high on Tuesday, retaining gains from a four-day rally, as expectations grew that a hike in US interest rates could be pushed to September.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,187.46 an ounce by 0706 GMT.

The metal had climbed to $1,191.50 on Monday, its highest since March 6, as it rose for a fourth straight day.

Investors favoured bullion over the last few days as the dollar slumped after the Federal Reserve sounded cautious last week on the US economy and the pace of its rate-hike path.

Gold, a non-interest paying asset, had been trending downwards on expectations of a near-term rate increase before the rally.

Consensus expectations for a bump in US interest rates has shifted, with most of Wall Street's top banks now looking for the central bank to hold off until at least September rather than making a move in June, a Reuters poll showed.

"We suspect that gold will very much be influenced on what the dollar will do over the short term," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

With the dollar sell-off likely to continue for a few more days, gold should enjoy additional support, Meir said.

A weaker dollar makes the metal cheaper for holders of other currencies and typically increases its appeal as a hedge. Still, some analysts warned that gold prices could face resistance on the way up.

"The gold rally looks intact and we believe the market is firm, but it is close to running into upside resistance at $1,200, a clear psychological level," said HSBC analyst James Steel.

Traders were also eyeing comments by Fed officials on interest rates. The Fed is "widely expected" to begin raising interest rates this year though the policy path remains uncertain, the central bank's second-in-command had said on Monday.

San Francisco Fed chief John Williams said in Australia on Tuesday, however, that policymakers should wait no more than a few months before considering raising US interest rates from their current near-zero level

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Published on March 24, 2015
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