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Futures & Commodities

Gold rises as dollar dips and equities slide into red

Key Points
  • SPDR Gold holdings highest in three months.
  • Trade volumes subdued because of U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.
Gold will continue to shine amid a weak dollar, says author and gold pro Jim Rickards.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold prices crept higher on Thursday towards a two-week peak scaled in the previous session, helped by an easing dollar and as investors sought refuge from weakness in financial markets on economic growth concerns.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,227.20 an ounce at 1042 GMT, though moves were contained by the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Prices on Wednesday had peaked at $1,230.07, the highest level since Nov. 7.

U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,228.20.

The dollar fell for a second day running, while Europe's share markets dropped into the red as investor worries mounted about slowing global growth.

"Weaker stocks tend to be supportive of the gold market, given the uncertainty that prevailing in the market," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen, adding that the softer dollar was also adding support.

Gold could be vulnerable to more gains if the dollar weakens further, making bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies, analysts said.

"Some of the recovery since we tested $1,200 last week has been driven by speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve might step back from its aggressive stance (on raising interest rates). If that signal grows stronger, we could see the dollar lose some momentum, which could be good for gold," Hansen said.

Markets expect the Fed to lift rates again in December, but concerns about a potential global slowdown raised doubts about the number of rate increases next year.

Investors are now looking ahead to the forthcoming meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. counterpart Donald Trump at this month's G20 summit in Argentina.

"The gold story looks very intriguing in the face of looming trade war risk and a possible U-turn on Fed policy which would result in a significantly weaker U.S. dollar. All of which suggests gold prices will continue to find a bid,"

Stephen Innes, APAC trading head at OANDA in Singapore, said in a note.

Bullion prices have recovered about 6 percent from 19-month lows hit in mid-August.

Investor interest was reflected in holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, which rose on Wednesday to their highest since the end of August at 762.92 tonnes.

"Longer-term investors are returning to gold and dipping their toes back in," said Saxo Bank's Hansen. "They are looking at the weakness in the stock markets and economic uncertainty potentially building into next year."

Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.2 percent at $14.51 an ounce, hovering near two-week highs hit in the previous session.

Platinum rose 0.2 percent to $842, while palladium was down 0.1 percent at $1,146.83.