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Gold soars in Europe




  • Gold prices rose above $1,580 an ounce on Tuesday as a retreat in the dollar lent support, but the metal struggled for significant gains after plumbing 10-month lows last week. Well-received Chinese inflation data helped underpin the euro and push the dollar down a quarter-point against a currency basket. That helped lift interest in dollar-priced assets, including gold. 

    Spot gold was up 0.6 percent at $1,582.61 an ounce at 1423 GMT, while US gold futures for June delivery were up 0.7 percent at $1,582.80. 

    Investors remain cautious towards the metal, however, after it slipped sharply last week and struggled to build on a rebound made after weak US jobs data. 

    “Many are simply undecided and the short sellers still smell the potential for a major reward should this weakness continue,” Saxo Bank Vice President Ole Hansen said. “Buyers have become a bit disillusioned with many probably preferring to sit it out until we make a move back above $1,620.” 

    Traders will be closely watching minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting for clues on US monetary policy, particularly any changes to its quantitative easing policy, he said. 

    “Fed minutes tomorrow may give us a clue as to how strong the QE conviction is and with US data hitting a bit of a soft patch I see no major downside risk to gold,” Hansen said. “But now there is still the worry that the multi-year rally is over.” 

    UBS and Deutsche Bank cut their 2013 gold price forecasts on Tuesday, with Deutsche lowering its price view by 12 percent to $1,637 an ounce, saying returns from the metal may be on course for their worst annual performance since 2000. 

    UBS said market concerns on the scope of the Fed’s QE programme, a rotation into equities, benign inflation and the focus on better economic growth were all threats to gold’s ability to rise. It reduced its 2013 price forecast for gold to $1,740 per ounce from $1,900 

    Danske Bank meanwhile said it sees gold averaging $1,495 an ounce this year, while National Australia Bank said it sees gold at an average $1,558 an ounce, both well below last year’s record average price of $1,668 an ounce. 

    Gold’s 5.8 percent slide so far this year has taken it to within $20 of long-term technical support at $1,521 an ounce, according to analysts who study past chart patterns to determine the future direction of trade. 

    “A clear and sustained break would complete an important top and would fully confirm the major bull cycle experienced during 2001 through to 2011 to be over,” independent consultant Cliff Green told the Reuters Global Gold Forum on Tuesday. 

    Hong Kong’s net gold flow to mainland China rebounded last month from three-month lows in January, reflecting increased demand ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday and as buyers took advantage of weaker prices, data showed on Tuesday. 

    Among other precious metals, silver was up 1.7 percent at $27.71 an ounce, while spot platinum was up 0.8 percent at $1,543.75 an ounce and spot palladium was down 0.1 percent at $728.97 an ounce. 

    Copyright Reuters, 2013

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