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Gold steady as dollar retreats from 14-year peak

Gold
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Gold was little changed but held above last week's 10-1/2-month low on Wednesday as a retreat in the dollar from the previous session's 14-year peak prompted some buyers to hunt bargains after the metal's sharp slide from its November high.

Bullion gave up earlier gains as the greenback came off session lows against a basket of six major currencies, while stocks edged down.

The metal had been hit hard by a surge in the dollar after the Nov.8 U.S. elections, and a more hawkish tone from the U.S. Federal Reserve after it hiked interest rates last week for only the second time in about a decade last month.



Spot gold was down 0.004 percent at $1,131.88 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures for February delivery settled at at $1,133.20.

Gold is getting some support from moves in the wider markets, Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said. "The U.S. dollar is slightly weaker and U.S. bond yields are slightly lower as well," he said.

The Fed last week signaled three more rate increases next year. Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.



"Looking ahead, we think that there is a risk that the price of gold might fall further in the coming months as the Fed hikes rates more aggressively in response to some of Trump's more inflationary policies," Capital Economics said in a note.

"That said, we see gold recovering over the medium term, as demand for inflation hedges picks up and ongoing geopolitical uncertainty ensures that safe havens remain well supported."

Hefty outflows from gold-backed exchange-traded funds of late have been pressuring gold, HSBC said in a note.

Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.4 percent at $16.02 an ounce, off the previous day's low of $15.59 an ounce, its weakest since April 11. Platinum was 0.2 percent lower at $913.60 an ounce.

Palladium was down 0.9 percent at $658 an ounce, having earlier touched a six-week low of $658.50.

It remains the best performing precious metal this quarter, with a drop of just 8 percent, compared with a 14 percent drop in gold prices and an 11 percent retreat in platinum.