Futures & Commodities

Gold slips as dollar gains

Gold bullion bars and coins.
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Gold fell on Friday as the dollar regained momentum and an improvement in risk sentiment lifted stock markets in Europe, denting bullion's appeal.

Spot gold was 0.3 percent lower at $1,222.54 per ounce. U.S. gold futures for December delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1,223 per ounce.

"It's really the dollar's move... If gold breaks below $1,220, prices can quickly go to $1,200," said Dawei Hou, precious metals trader at MKS SA.

Still, the gold market continued to be relatively quiet as investors waited for a clear catalyst to break it out of a recent tight range.

Gold has traded in a range of about $13 for the week thus far, partly due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

A weaker euro, on signs that economic growth across the euro zone could be slowing, helped the dollar, but European stocks opened higher following a volatile week.

Euro zone business growth was much weaker than expected this month as exports fell sharply, hurt by a slowing global economy and a trade war led by the United States.

Market watchers are now looking ahead to the G-20 summit in Argentina at the end of the month, where leaders from the United States and China are expected to hold talks against a backdrop of ongoing trade tensions.

"If there is nothing in terms of an agreement at the summit, there will be pressure on stocks. If there is an improvement, gold will go lower as people come back to stocks. People are now looking at the dollar as a safe haven," Hou said.

On the technical front, however, gold has been trading above its 50-day and 100-day moving averages and that is keeping it supported for the moment a the lower end, a Hong Kong-based trader said.

Among other precious metals, spot silver fell 1.3 percent to $14.27 per ounce and platinum slipped 0.2 percent, to $842 per ounce.

Silver has mostly been following gold but its moves tend to be more pronounced, said ABN AMRO analyst Georgette Boele.

"Investors have been disappointed with silver, so they try to see if it breaks in the upside and every time it doesn't they quickly sell it again."

Palladium fell 2 percent to $1,130 per ounce. The metal was headed for its biggest weekly percentage decline since the week of July 20, down about 3 percent so far and drifting further away from a record high of $1,185.40 hit on Nov. 16.