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Gold resumes downward slide as Trump tax plan fillip fades

Gold
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Gold resumed its downward slide from a five-month high in mid-April, giving up gains that came after U.S. President Donald Trump announced unfunded tax cuts, causing shares and U.S. bond yields to fall.

Spot gold was down 0.28 percent to $1,265.10 per ounce. U.S. gold futures for June delivery inched up $1.70 to settle at $1,265.90 an ounce.

Gold has fallen by 1.6 percent this week as it slips from an April 17 high of $1,295.42.

"It's going through a phase of correction," said Ole Hansen, head of commodities strategy at Saxo Bank.

Hansen said that several broad factors driving up gold prices were fading.

"We've seen a strong rally in stocks and U.S. bond yields move up again, and we have almost had a day without North Korea being mentioned," he said.

Investors traditionally use gold as a hedge against political uncertainty, while rising stock prices and higher yields increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

"The market is trying to establish where support is. We probably haven't found it yet," Hansen said.

Analysts at Mitsubishi and MKS PAMP said that technical support would come in at about $1,257, the first Fibonacci retracement from a recent rally, and the 200-day moving average, currently $1,252.50.

Hansen said that a long position by fund investors that has risen to its highest since November would be relatively resilient if gold prices remained above $1,240 an ounce.

Gold was also under pressure from a stronger dollar that made bullion more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The dollar rose after U.S. business investment accelerated in the first quarter and the euro fell after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said policymakers had not discussed removing the bank's easing bias on monetary policy.

Bullion has been supported by physical demand. Data on Thursday showed Swiss gold exports to Hong Kong, China and India rose in March, while Chinese gold production fell in the first quarter.

But consumption in China and India traditionally declines in the second quarter, said Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler, potentially pushing prices lower.

Faster economic growth or greater detail on Trump's tax plans could also prompt investors to move money from bullion to higher-yielding assets, Butler said.

"Change in investor sentiment to a more pro-growth mindset is a major risk to gold," he said.

Silver slipped 1.15 percent to $17.26 an ounce after hitting its lowest in over a month earlier at $17.24.

Platinum lost 0.45 percent to $942.49 an ounce and palladium added 0.90 percent to $815.30 an ounce.