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Gold falls to 1-1/2-week low as dollar rises

Key Points
  • Eyes on U.S. consumer inflation data due Thursday.
  • Dollar up after report shows U.S. producer prices rebound.
Gold bullion bars and coins.
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Gold fell to a 1-1/2-week low on Wednesday, erasing earlier gains as the dollar index jumped, though a retreat in global stocks after Tuesday's record high prevented deeper losses.

Spot gold was down 0.71 percent at $1,322.13 an ounce by 3:34 p.m. EDT (1834 GMT), after falling to the lowest since Sept. 1 at $1,320.51. U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled down 0.5 percent at $1,326.1.

"We had a lot of positions put on last week up at the highs, and those were weak short-term positions. We've seen a lot of them taken off," said Bill O'Neill, partner with Logic Advisors in Saddle River, New Jersey, referring to gold's roughly one-year high reached last week.

"We're not in a fearful flight to haven atmosphere this week. We're in a calmer, little more cautious tone and that's weighing on gold."

The metal's move lower came as the dollar turned higher after a report showed U.S. producer prices rebounded in August and as traders turned their focus to U.S. consumer inflation data. A firmer dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Concerns over North Korea's nuclear ambitions were a key factor driving spot gold prices to 13-month highs last week at $1,357.54 an ounce. An easing of those worries helped lift equities to record highs early this week. Demand for gold, seen as a safe investment in uncertain times, revived earlier after U.S. President Donald Trump pledged stronger measures against North Korea and Pyongyang promised to fight off what it said was the threat of a U.S. invasion.

"This seems to be currency led," Saxo Bank's head of commodity research Ole Hansen said, about the gold market's move lower.

A gauge of global equity markets edged lower. Investors in gold-backed exchange-traded funds were buying as prices fell. Holdings of the largest gold-backed ETF, New York's SPDR Gold Trust, rose 0.35 percent on Tuesday from Monday.

Investors awaited U.S. consumer inflation data due on Thursday, which should give further clues about the pace of U.S. interest rate increases. A run of weak inflation readings has lowered expectations the Federal Reserve will raise rates in December.

Among other precious metals, silver was down 1.06 percent at $17.72 an ounce.

Platinum was 1.14 percent lower at $975.25 an ounce, after falling to $973, the lowest since Aug. 28. Palladium fell 1.66 percent at $938.70.