Gold Hovers Near 7 Month High

September 17, 2012 at 07:16

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Gold firmed on Monday, holding near an almost seven-month high, as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest stimulus move to spur the economy led to a rush for bullion — a traditional hedge against inflation.

Gold, which has risen for the last four weeks, could breach this year’s peak around $1,790 an ounce as the United States prints more money to buy assets, driving up the outlook for inflation and weighing on the dollar.

“Gold is still pretty bullish this week. I think gold prices will remain firm and probably test the high set in February,” Lynette Tan, an analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

“Buyers are still buying gold, but it seems that profit taking may occur later.”

A poll showed the Fed will buy a total of $600 billion of bonds under its new stimulus program, known as quantitative easing or QE3, and will look for a U.S. unemployment rate of 7 percent before it halts the program.

The dollar index .DXY stood at 78.878, having fallen as far as 78.601 on Friday, a level not seen since late February. It has shed some 6 percent from a 24-month high of 84.100 in July. A softer dollar makes commodities priced in the greenback cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Silver tracked gold higher and held near its strongest since March. Platinum was near multi-month highs even after Anglo American Platinum said it will resume work this week at its strike-hit Rustenburg operations.

Higher prices spurred selling in the physical sector, but bullion was likely to find support at around $1,750 an ounce, dealers said.

“We’ve seen some selling, but it’s not heavy. We saw early selling from the Middle East this morning, but Thailand and Indonesia are a bit quiet,” said a dealer in Singapore.

“Premiums are still at 20 to 40 cents. You can’t go cheaper than this because the premiums are already low. But we expect more selling this week. Thai may be selling more gold scraps.”

In main consumer India, demand picked up last week as jewelers and investors scaled up purchases before prices rose further during the festive season, which peaks in November with Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.