Gold prices slip 1%, remain stuck in range

Gold prices edged down yesterday as early bargain hunting subsided and a weaker dollar was probably needed to help the metal break free from its current range.

Spot gold hit an intraday high of $1,124.30 an ounce and was at $1,120.40 down $2.45 from New York's notional close on Monday, when it fell one per cent. Bullion was also around one per cent below a 6-1/2-week high near $1,150 an ounce hit in early March.

Speculators, who have built up positions in New York on worries about Greece's ability to repay its debt, may unwind holdings further but gold could find support at the current levels. Dealers shrugged off news that China would be prudent in buying gold as a component of official reserves.

"It's still trading above the 50- and 100-day moving average, which is encouraging. If they can stay above $1,110, there's a chance it could move back up towards $1,150," said Mark Pervan, senior commodities analyst at ANZ in Melbourne.

US gold futures for April delivery fell $2 to $1,122, having ended one per cent lower on technical selling. SPDR Gold Trust said its holdings stood at 1,116.120 tonne as at March 8. Platinum and palladium slipped, but held near their recent highs on hopes of steady demand from autocatalysts.

 

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