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Gold gains on dollar weakness, silver hits 10-month high

by April 19, 2016 General

LONDON Gold rose 1 percent on Tuesday, lifted by a weaker dollar and a 10-month high for silver, which benefited from robust Chinese buying.

Gold touched a session high of $1,246.40 an ounce and was up 0.9 percent at $1,242.35 by 0958 GMT.

Silver climbed 3.5 percent to $16.78, its highest since June 2015, before stabilising with a 2.7 percent gain at $16.65, having risen by 5.7 percent last week, its biggest weekly jump in 11 months.

“One reason is that the dollar is weakening. Another reason is that there is heavy buying in silver in Shanghai, and that has triggered buying in gold as well,” said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.

The dollar fell 0.1 percent against a basket of major currencies.

European equities climbed to three-month highs but that did not damp demand for gold, often seen as an hedge against risk. [MKTS/GLOB]

Gold traders were also watching for comments from Federal Reserve officials to gauge the outlook for U.S. monetary policy.

“Gold should probably hang on to its gains in the second quarter because the dollar is likely to stay relatively subdued with the expectations of U.S. interest rate hikes being pushed out to the second half of this year,” Mitsubishi Corp analyst Jonathan Butler said.

“That generally means that the yield environment for non-interest-bearing assets remains fairly favourable.”

The Fed raised rates modestly from near zero in December — its first policy tightening in nearly a decade. While futures markets imply no further increases until December, Fed projections suggest there could be two more hikes by year-end.

New York Fed President William Dudley said that U.S. economic conditions are “mostly favourable” but the Fed remains cautious on interest rates because threats loom.

Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, however, said the Fed is set to incresae rates more rapidly than investors currently expect.

Top gold consumer China launched a yuan-denominated gold benchmark on Tuesday as the country took an ambitious step to exert more control over the pricing of the metal and boost its influence in the global bullion market.

Among other precious metals, platinum rose 1.9 percent to $995 and palladium gained 1.6 percent to $572.

The most traded silver contract on the Shanghai Gold Exchange jumped as much as 4.3 percent to 3,595 yuan per kilogram ($17.28 per ounce).

(Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; Editing by David Goodman)