Gold near 3-month low on dollar strength, rate hike fears
Spot gold was little changed at USD 1,248.95 an ounce by 0030 GMT, after dropping 0.6 percent on Wednesday, when it hit a three-month low of USD 1,243.56
Gold was trading near its lowest level in three months on Thursday, hit by fears of an early hike in US interest rates, a stronger dollar and an apparent easing of tensions over the Ukraine.
FUNDAMENTALS Spot gold was little changed at USD 1,248.95 an ounce by 0030 GMT, after dropping 0.6 percent on Wednesday, when it hit a three-month low of USD 1,243.56. The dollar index was trading near a 14-month peak on Thursday as speculation has increased in recent days that the US Federal Reserve could soon raise rates. Higher interest rates would dent demand for non-interest yielding assets such as gold. Meanwhile, gold's safe-haven demand was also curbed after Ukraine's president said on Wednesday that Russia had removed the bulk of its forces from his country, raising hopes for a peace drive now underway after five months of conflict in which more than 3,000 people have been killed.
The recent drop in gold prices attracted some bargain hunters with SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, seeing an inflow of 3 tonnes to bring total holdings to 788.72 tonnes on Wednesday. India - the second biggest gold consumer after China - is not considering an immediate cut in gold import duties, Trade Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday, a policy that could continue to keep buying interest subdued in the country. Africa's biggest bullion producer AngloGold Ashanti has joined the wave of large miners shaking up their businesses by announcing a USD 2.1 billion rights issue and plans to spin off its non-South African assets in a new British-based company. Other precious metals also followed gold's suit, with silver holding near three-month lows on Thursday. Platinum was trading near a seven-month trough hit on Wednesday, while palladium hovered close to its lowest in a month.