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Gold gains on dollar and shares; likely Fed rate rise weighs

Gold
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Gold rose on Tuesday as the dollar receded slightly and stocks fell globally, though expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next week kept gains in check.

A slide in commodity prices - particularly crude oil's drop to its lowest in almost seven years as OPEC continues to pump near-record amounts of oil to defend market share - also prevented gold from reaching higher levels.

Any further weakness in oil could trigger fears of deflation, a bearish factor for gold, which is often used as a hedge against oil-led inflation.

Spot gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,074.47 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures for February delivery settled up 10 cents at $1,075.30 an ounce.


Stock markets worldwide slipped, weighed down by weak China trade figures, while the dollar was down 0.2 percent against a basket of other leading currencies.

Signs that the U.S. labor market is recovering supported market views that the Fed will raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade at its policy meeting on Dec. 15-16.

"For gold now it's just a wait and see game," said Saxo Bank's head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen, adding that the market is still preoccupied with the rate increase.

"At the same time, though, the market is not prepared to react in terms of cutting exposure until we actually have the news."


Georgette Boele, commodity strategist at ABN Amro, said Tuesday's gains in gold would be short lived as they resulted from bargain hunting on the back of a brief retreat in the dollar.

"Our economists expect three Fed rate hikes of 25 basis points each in 2016, which would not even be half as many rate hikes as were implemented in the first year of the last cycle," said Commerzbank in a note.

"Once the first Fed rate hike has taken place and the associated uncertainty has abated, physical gold demand should come to the fore again to a greater extent."

Assets in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, tumbled to a 2008 low, while central bank data showed China's gold reserves rose by nearly 21 tonnes last month.

Silver was down 0.6 percent at $14.14 an ounce. Platinum fell 0.8 percent to $846.44 and palladium was down 0.5 percent at $556.47.