Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Bengaluru — Gold prices touched the lowest in more than one week on Thursday, as the dollar stood firm on rising US treasury yields, with investors focusing on who would replace Janet Yellen as the next chief of the Federal Reserve.

Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,277.86/oz as of 3.47am GMT after earlier hitting its lowest since October 9 at $1,276.44.

US gold futures for December delivery fell 0.3% to $1,279.80/oz.

"Depending on how the dollar goes, we might look at $1,250/oz-$1,260/oz as the next stop for gold to trade down. We don’t see immediate upward catalyst for gold except for North Korea," said Richard Xu, a fund manager at China’s biggest gold exchange-traded fund, HuaAn Gold.

The dollar hit its highest in about two weeks versus the yen, supported by this week’s rise in US bond yields, with US President Donald Trump set to make a decision in the "coming days" on Yellen, who is also one of the five candidates being considered for the job.

US short-dated treasury yields jumped on the expectation of tighter global monetary policy. Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

US interest rates futures saw modest losses on Wednesday after the release of the Fed’s Beige Book, but traders still saw an 80% chance of the US central bank raising rates in December. The economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace in September and early October, despite the effect of hurricanes on some regions, the Fed said its latest snapshot of the US economy.

"Looks like fundamentally the [US] economy is doing pretty well, so that will also put downward pressure on gold," Xu said.

Spot gold may drop more to $1,263/oz, as it had cleared a support at $1,281, Reuters technicals analyst Wang Tao said.

An overhaul of the US tax code to make it simpler and more broad-based should foster business investments and productivity, boosting overall domestic economic growth, said New York Federal Reserve president William Dudley on Wednesday.

In other precious metals, silver slipped 0.2% to $16.94/oz.

Platinum fell 0.4% to $914.50/oz, while palladium was up 0.8% at $960.10/oz. Platinum and palladium hit one-week lows earlier in the session.


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