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Gold wallows near 8-mth low as expectations for Fed hike build

Gold wallows near 8-mth low as expectations for Fed hike build
July 17, 2015
MANILA - Gold languished near its lowest level in eight months on Friday and is set to extend its losing run to a fourth week, pressured by a firmer dollar as expectations grow that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year. Platinum and palladium held near multi-year lows, with market players warning of more losses in precious metals if the dollar strengthens further and equities advance. Spot gold was little changed at $1,144.43 an ounce by 0243 GMT, not far above Thursday's trough of $1,142.10, its lowest since November 2014. Gold has lost nearly 2 percent for the week. "We remain nervous about gold and would not be surprised to see a rather sizable, stop-induced fall to take place if and when we significantly pierce the $1,141 support on the next downswing," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said. "Not only are the charts looking shaky, but we are also seeing the stronger dollar and firmer global equity markets reassert themselves, much as they did back in February and March." Gold is down for a third year running, dropping more than 3 percent so far this year, with the non-interest bearing asset losing favour against an impending U.S. rate hike. Bullion took a deeper hit this week after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress the U.S. central bank is on track to lift interest rates this year if the U.S. economy expands as expected, sending the dollar to a seven-week high versus a basket of currencies on Thursday. Meir said a "serious rout in platinum and palladium," spurred by rising supplies, "could spill over into either gold or silver more forcefully, as funds scramble to raise cash." Spot platinum was little changed at $1,004.99 an ounce after falling as far as $1,000.25 on Thursday, its lowest since February 2009. Palladium slipped 0.3 percent to $626.83 after dropping to $622.75 overnight, its weakest since November 2012. Spot silver was flat at $15 an ounce, having breached that level last week to hit its lowest since December 2014. "If equities continue to push higher, and the U.S. dollar maintains its ascendancy, the precious complex could well come under severe pressure in the near term," said MKS Group trader Jason Cerisola. - Reuters
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