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Gold continues to rise on easing dollar

By Reuters Staff

Gold prices rose on Tuesday, after hitting a more than one-month high earlier in the session, as the dollar stumbled after the United States and China agreed to a temporary truce in their trade conflict that rattled global markets.

Spot gold climbed 0.4 percent to $1,235.78 per ounce at 0400 GMT. Prices touched a peak of $1,236.01 earlier in the session, their highest since Nov. 2.

U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,240.3 per ounce.

“Dollar weakness is primarily driving gold prices higher,” said Benjamin Lu, a commodities analyst at Phillip Futures.

“Markets seem little doubtful about the success of this Sino-U.S. trade war truce… It seems a bit cautious,” Lu added.

The dollar weakened against its major peers on Tuesday, as the thaw in trade tensions between Washington and Beijing supported investor confidence though concerns about the fragility of the truce capped wider gains in risk assets.

Analysts now expect market focus to move to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. Markets are expecting a fourth rate hike at its Dec. 18-19 meeting.

Gold has fallen about 10 percent from a peak in April as investors preferred the dollar as safe haven, with U.S.-China trade friction unfolding against a backdrop of higher U.S. interest rates.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. They also boost the dollar, in which the metal is priced.

“Participants will be keying in on policy language and the subsequent Powell news conference to see if there is any “walking back” of Powell’s “neutral” remarks,” INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.

The dollar came under pressure last week, making the bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies, when the market took comments by Fed Chair Jerome Powell as hinting at a slower pace of rate hikes.

“It (gold) is very close to taking out key resistance at $1,240/ounce. Should that level give away, we could see a modest flurry of fund activity setting in,” Meir added.

Meanwhile, holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.46 percent to 758.21 tonnes on Monday.

Among other precious metals palladium rose 0.6 percent to $1,210.50 per ounce, having hit a record high of $1,221.95 in the previous session.

Spot silver was up 0.4 percent at $14.43 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.3 percent to $804.10.

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