Gold rises further from lows ahead of central bank meetings

Gold
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Gold extended its rise on Wednesday, rebounding from this week's 10-month low as the dollar eased against the euro ahead of a European Central Bank meeting and on the view that a U.S. rate rise next week was already reflected in prices.

In November, the yellow metal posted its biggest monthly fall in more than three years. The losing streak spilled into December as fears of U.S. rate rise, an increased appetite for risk and a stronger dollar all weighed on prices at a time of waning demand from top consumers, China and India.

Gold prices found solid support, however, at the $1,172 level, a chart retracement of its December-to-July rally.


Spot gold was up 0.44 percent at $1,173.99 per ounce by 3:05 p.m. EDT. Gold stayed near 10-month lows touched on Monday, after ending the prior session nearly flat.

U.S. gold futures for February delivery settled at $1,177.50 an ounce.

"The metal lost 8 percent during the month of November, thanks to the Fed, which is expected to increase the interest rate this month," Think Markets' chief market analyst Naeem Aslam said.

"We think that the interest rate story is largely baked into the gold price, and when the Fed increases rates, we may not see much of a move."

"Today is a little more of a pause," said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth management in Seattle.

"I think rates moving higher is the primary headwind to gold moving into next year and the market doesn't really get the benefit from rising inflation," he said, referring to expectations for the Federal Reserve to raise U.S. interest rates.

The Fed is expected to hike rates at its meeting next week, a move seen as negative for gold, as higher U.S. rates lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

The European Central Bank is expected to extend its quantitative easing programme when it meets on Thursday, but questions remain over whether it will scale back its monthly asset purchases and send a formal signal on the eventual end of that programme.

Among other precious metals, silver was up 2.6 percent at $17.14 an ounce, after rising to $17.24, the highest since Nov. 14.

Palladium was down 0.7 percent at $731.50, while platinum was 0.7 percent higher at $940.80.