Gold seen steadier after early gains

LONDON - Gold failed to retain early gains on Thursday but was steady above $630 an ounce as investors were wary of chasing prices higher because of a firm dollar and weak oil prices, traders said.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Thu 7 Sep 2006, 6:32 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:18 PM

Silver hovered below its highest in three months while palladium fell about three percent before rallying.

“Precious metals have slightly run out of steam,” Stephen Briggs, economist at SG Corporate and Investment Banking, said. ”We may need to consolidate in the $630 to $640 area for a bit before it (gold) attempts to go up again.

“There is too much to lose because so many people have invested so much (in commodities) that everybody is desperate for them to go up. It means that the bias is always going to be upward until there is a big shock,” he said.

Gold XAU rose as high as $636 an ounce before dropping to $633.90/634.90 by 0955 GMT, against $633.60/634.60 in New York on Wednesday, when it rose to a four-week high of $640.25.

A rise in the dollar against the euro dampened buying, while a fall in oil prices in recent days also discouraged investors from adding fresh positions, traders said.

Gold often moves in the opposite direction to the dollar, while the metal is generally seen as a hedge against inflation.

The dollar was marginally up against the euro, while oil slipped to its lowest in five months before rebounding.

“While the metal remains at risk to further pockets of oil-led liquidation, dips should find good support both from physical players ... and from investors still keen to get a handle on the commodities bull run,” said.

Dealers noted limited purchases by jewellers in China despite the approaching National Day holiday and the Moon Cake Festival in October. Trade was also slow in India, the world’s largest gold consumer, as buyuers waited for prices to fall.

“They would have already bought gold in August when the market was trying to come down to $610. There was extra physical buying,” said Ronald Leung, director of Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.

In other metals, silver XAG rose as high as $13.11 an ounce and was last quoted at $13.02/13.09, unchanged from late levels in the US market. Prices jumped to a three-month high of $13.22 on Tuesday.

Platinum XPT fell to $1,257/1,262 an ounce from $1,263/1,268, well below a three-month high of $1,270 hit this week, while palladium XPD dropped as low as $344 an ounce before settling at $350/354, versus $355/360 in New York.

In industry news, fire broke out at a gold mine in Russia’s Eastern Siberia owned by London-listed Highland Gold Mining HGM.L, trapping up to 19 workers below ground.

The world’s fourth-biggest gold producer, Gold Fields Ltd. GFIJ.J said it had approved a 4.7 billion rand ($652.6 million) project to expand its two largest mines, making them the world’s deepest and extending their lives

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