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Gold price slips as US growth data supports dollar, US yields

Key Points
  • Dollar wilts as euro climbs, world stocks hit record
  • Palladium dips but stays near Tuesday's 17-year peak
  • Gold in narrowest range in 12 years

The price of gold fell on Wednesday, as upbeat U.S. growth data prompted a recovery in the dollar and a bounce in U.S. Treasury yields, though it remained stuck within the narrowest monthly range since 2005.

The U.S. data, along with signs of progress with U.S. tax cuts and Europe's Brexit negotiations, also brought fresh highs for world stocks on Wednesday, while crypto currency bitcoin smashed past the $11,000 level for the first time, only hours after it hit the $10,000 mark.

Gold meanwhile fell further from Monday's six-week high of just below $1,300 an ounce.

Spot gold was down 0.78 percent at $1,283.50 an ounce by 1:55 p.m. ET, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down 0.95 percent at $1,286.90.

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"This drop in gold came when GDP surprised to the upside, the dollar started to rally and yields moved higher," Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said.

"The drop in physical demand has made gold very, very sensitive to the U.S. dollar and U.S. bond yields. There is basically nothing else that is driving the gold market this year."

Gold has risen 12 percent so far in 2017, bouncing chiefly in the first quarter as it clawed back some of its losses posted towards the end of 2016 in the run-up to the second U.S. interest rate increase in a decade.

It is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

While another rate increase is expected next month, fears for more aggressive hikes have receded. Fed chair nominee Jerome Powell said in his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday that gradual rate increases would be the best way to sustain the U.S. recovery.

Geopolitical risks can boost demand for safe-haven assets such as gold, but the metal took little support from news overnight that North Korea had tested a new type of intercontinential ballistic missile.

A lack of clear drivers means that gold has traded between $1,265 and $1,300 throughout November, its narrowest monthly range in 12 years.

"When you have a period of low volatility, it's actually quite difficult to break out of that," Oxford Economics analyst Daniel Smith said. "Low volatility tends to mean low volatility going forward, (and) you need something fairly major to shock things out of their ranges."

"In terms of gold, you would need some kind of shock probably around inflation, or interest rates, or some major political event. But it does feel as though it's going to be drifting into year-end."

Among other precious metals, palladium was down 1.39 percent at $1,013.95 an ounce, after reaching its highest since February 2001 on Tuesday at $1,028.70.

Silver sunk 1.72 percent at $16.54 an ounce, while platinum fell 1.04 percent to $938.80 an ounce.