Gold climbs to near 5-month peak as dollar, stocks decline

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Gold rebounded to a near 5-month peak on Thursday as the dollar declined amid expectations of a slowdown in the pace of U.S. rate hikes, with investors seeking refuge from a sell-off in global stocks.

Spot gold rose 0.11 percent to $1,238.82 per ounce, having reached $1,244.32 per ounce, its highest since July 17. U.S. gold futures were 0.13 percent higher at $1,243.90 per ounce.

"What we are seeing is a lot of safe-haven support with the equity markets selling off, coupled with a weakness in the U.S. dollar," said Alex Turro, market strategist at RJO Futures.

"Jobless claims came weaker than expected and ADP numbers missed. That leads us to the fact that the U.S. Federal Reserve may be coming off the hawkish tone they had and this ultimately is just going to provide more underlined support for gold."

Attention turns to Friday's non-farm payrolls report, which is likely to be on the Federal Reserve's radar.

The dollar fell about one-half a percent as U.S. Treasury yields tumbled and traders scaled back expectations on the number of hikes the Fed would implement amid weakening economic data and market volatility.

"The weaker dollar is keeping gold positive at the moment. If you look at the other markets as well, there is a kind of risk-off situation going on," said Phil Streible, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.

Global stock markets slumped for a third day on Thursday as the arrest of a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Canada for extradition to the United States raised fears of a flare-up in trade tensions. U.S. stocks tumbled 3 percent.

Meanwhile, palladium dropped after outshining the yellow metal for the first time since 2002 on Wednesday.

Spot palladium dropped 3.90 percent to $1,194.50 per ounce after rising to an all-time high of $1,263.56 per ounce in the previous session.

"It's just profit-taking. Lots of money has moved in there so investors are checking out and taking some profits," said Rob Lutts, chief investment officer of Cabot Wealth Management.

Silver fell 0.51 percent to $14.43 per ounce, while platinum extended losses into a third session, declining 1.54 percent to $788.10 per ounce. The metal earlier hit a low of $779.50, its lowest since Sept. 12.