Gold prices edge higher as dollar retreats from 14-year high

Nov 17 (Reuters) – Gold prices rose on Thursday as a rally in the US dollar showed signs of fatigue after the currency hit its highest in nearly 14 years against a basket of currencies the day before.

Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,228.47 an ounce at 0812 GMT, after dropping 0.25 percent in the previous session.

US gold futures rose 0.33 percent to $1,228.00 an ounce.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, slipped 0.23 percent to 100.180, as moderate US inflation data drove a flattening of the U.S. Treasury yield curve.

The index climbed to 100.57 on Wednesday, which was its highest since April 2003, after a week-long rally mainly driven by the post-election surge in US bond yields as traders bet President-elect Donald Trump’s administration will adopt inflationary policies.

"The dollar was higher and gold was sold. Now, the dollar has given away gains and gold is steady," said Yuichi Ikemizu, head of commodity trading at Standard Bank in Tokyo.

"It has found a bottom around $1,220 and looks firm."

"We need something for gold to follow. At this moment, there is nothing supporting movement and investors are sidelined," Ikemizu added.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said he favoured raising interest rates and that the U.S. central bank might have to hike more aggressively if the Trump administration enacts fiscal stimulus.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Wednesday that the Fed would hike US interest rates in December barring any major shocks.

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Financial markets expect the Fed to hike rates next month and have begun pricing in a much more aggressive run of rate increases after Trump promised to boost the US economy with spending on infrastructure.

"Since the gold market has absorbed the likelihood of a December rate rise, we do not think Mr. Bullard’s rate comments were especially price-negative," said James Steel, chief metals analyst for HSBC Securities.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s congressional testimony is due later in the day and will be watched closely for cues on the economic outlook and rate increases.

Gold is highly sensitive to interest rates.

Spot gold has failed to break resistance at $1,235 per ounce and may consolidate below this level, which is above support at $1,210 for one or more days, according to Reuters Technical Analyst Wang Tao.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.13 percent to 926.26 tonnes on Wednesday.

Silver rose 0.36 percent to $17.03 an ounce, while platinum was down about 0.5 percent at $939.50.

Palladium rose 0.74 percent at $720.50.

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