Gold edges towards 3-month low on US rate view

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Gold edged down to a three-month low on Wednesday, failing to benefit from a softer dollar, as pressure from an anticipated U.S. rate hike as soon as next month persisted.

Pressure also remained on platinum, which fell for the tenth straight session to its lowest in nearly seven years, while palladium prices dropped nearly 4 percent, as investors continued to liquidate holdings of exchange-traded funds.

Spot gold was down 0.4 percent at $1,084.96 an ounce, the lowest since Aug. 7 and not far from the 5-1/2-year low reached in July at $1,077, a level viewed as key support.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled down $3.60 an ounce at $1,084.90.

Increasing bets the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates in December for the first time in nearly a decade has sent bullion, a non-interest-paying asset, lower for 10 out of the past 11 sessions.

"If there (is) a December rate hike, the next question is what's the path, is the Fed going for at least three further increases of 25 basis points but the end of 2016," Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said. "In that case, gold will definitely see a move down towards $1,050."

Assets in SPDR Gold Trust, the top gold-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), fell to 663.43 tons on Tuesday - the lowest since September 2008 when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, kicking off a global financial crisis.

Gold's recent sharp decline has stoked some physical demand in top consumer Asia. Premiums on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, were at a healthy $4-$5 an ounce on Wednesday.

Palladium was down 3.5 percent at $574.25 an ounce, having earlier touched a two-month low at $571, while silver fell as much as $14.20 an ounce, the lowest since late-August.

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Platinum slid to its lowest since December 2008 at $875 an ounce, having lost more than a quarter of its value this year, hurt by perceptions that supply is plentiful.

"The story has been, at least recently, all about ETF liquidation," said Ben Ross, Commodities Portfolio manager at Cohen & Steers in New York.

"(The South African rand) doesn't stop going down against the dollar. That of course drives down production costs."

Holdings of platinum-backed ETFs fell another 13,000 ounces on Tuesday, according to Reuters data, to the lowest in nearly two years.

"This is massive additional supply needing to be absorbed. Most of the selling occurred in the South African ETFs," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said.