Gold trades near 10-week highs on weaker dollar

LONDON - Gold was firm on Monday, holding near 10-week highs as the dollar hit record lows against the euro on worries about the U.S. subprime mortgage sector.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Mon 23 Jul 2007, 9:18 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:21 PM

Gold stood at $683.80/684.60 an ounce at 1310 GMT, compared with $682.90/$683.70 late in New York on Friday, when it touched $686, the highest since May 9 and a gain of more than $20 since last Monday.

“All the indicators look positive, the weaker dollar against the euro and steady oil,” said Robin Bhar, analyst at UBS.

“Gold is likely to stay well supported, but we have come a long way, a period of consolidation would be good, though any correction is likely to be short lived.”

A weaker U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated metals more attractive to investors in other currencies, while gold is used as a hedge against inflationary pressures, sometimes fuelled by oil prices.

Benchmark crude oil prices are about $1.20 a barrel below the record highs of $78.65 hit in August 2006.

The dollar hit an all-time low of $1.3844 against the euro, before steadying later.

“Gold is again in demand as funds are buying again and gold ETFs record inflows ... However, without a major economic data release, a consolidation after the strong rise last week cannot be ruled out,” Dresdner Kleinwort said in a research note.

“But the bias remains clearly to the upside as continued speculation on the fallout of the U.S. sub-prime mortgage crisis could move the markets.”

Little resistance

Rising prices prompted investors to increase their holdings in U.S.-listed StreetTRACKS Gold Shares, the world’s biggest gold Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). Holdings rose to 497.15 tonnes last week, against 473.45 tonnes on July 6 and just shy of a record high of 500.72 tonnes in April.

Much of the price gain last week was due to speculators buying back gold they had sold on expectations of lower prices.

Data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed higher net long gold positions.

Silver’s gains too persuaded investors last week to plough more money into a Barclays iShares Silver Trust, the world’s biggest silver ETF, which added 1.5 million ounces.

Traders expect to see further gains for silver as investors and speculators increase their holdings.

Silver was quoted higher at $13.33/13.37 an ounce, versus $13.27/13.32 on Friday, when it saw $13.40 an ounce, the highest since June 8.

Palladium was a touch softer at $369/372 an ounce from $370/374 and platinum was lower at $1,327/1,331 from $1,330/$1,334 on Friday.

Earlier platinum hit $1,335, matching the high on May 14.

Analysts said the platinum market was watching wage negotiations in South Africa at the world’s biggest platinum producer, Angloplat, which could lead to a wage deal and avert a strike.

“(But) the white metal is very near to May’s $1,340 high and there is very little resistance between that figure and the metals all-time high of $1395,” a London-based trader said.

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