Gold on Wednesday held near a
six-week high hit in the previous session, with economic and
political uncertainty boosting its safe-haven appeal.
Markets were waiting for indications on policy from U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump's first news conference since the
U.S. elections, due later in the day.
"The markets are myopic. There are immediate concerns over
the global economy, at least in the first half of the year,"
said Barnabas Gan, an analyst at OCBC Bank in Singapore.
He added that focus was on events such as Britain's exit
from the European Union, French elections in April and the
impact of Trump's trade policies when he takes up his post in
the White House later this month.
Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,188.86 an ounce by
0630 GMT. Bullion, often seen as an alternative investment
during times of political and financial uncertainty, on Tuesday
reached its highest level since Nov. 30 at $1,190.46.
U.S. gold futures gained 0.3 percent to $1,188.70
"Greater than usual market sensitivity to Trump's comments
and actions may persist until the market becomes used to him in
office. This could take several months. Thus gold prices may be
more volatile than usual," said James Steel, chief metals
analyst for HSBC Securities in New York.
"In addition to U.S. dollar weakness, the gold rally has
depended on a pullback in U.S. bond yields and some moderation
in equity gains."
The greenback has lost some of its momentum against other
currencies, while U.S. bond yields have fallen considerably from
two-year highs touched in mid-December.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates,
which increase the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding
asset while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.
The outlook for U.S. rates may become a little clearer when
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen appears at a webcast town
hall meeting with educators on Thursday.
"With the impending inauguration of President-elect Donald
Trump and possible safe-haven flows related to that, seasonal
Chinese demand and a stalling equity rally and bond sell-off,
January so far is poised to be another good month for the yellow
metal," said Alex Thorndike, senior precious metals dealer at
MKS PAMP Group.
Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao expects spot gold to rise
to $1,210 per ounce as it has broken above resistance at $1,172.
Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.2
percent at $16.76 an ounce, after gaining more than 1 percent in
the previous session, when it hit its highest in nearly four
Platinum declined up to 0.4 percent to $974.10, and
palladium dropped as much as 0.3 percent to $762.22 an