Gold prices steadied near 1-1/2-week lows on Thursday, as a U.S. equities rally offset support from uncertainty over U.S. government policies and a weaker dollar.
Spot gold prices were slightly down 0.2 percent to $1,198.20 per ounce at 0320 GMT. On Wednesday, they hit their lowest since Jan. 13 at $1,192.74. U.S. gold futures was steady at $1,198.30.
“The bullish impact of a weaker dollar was more than offset by a soaring U.S. equity market where we saw the Dow take out the 20,000 mark for the first time,” said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.
“We suspect that gold could come under further pressure again on Thursday as the follow-through from the U.S. stock rally reverberates through into other global markets,” he added.
The Dow closed atop the 20,000-mark for the first time overnight, boosted by solid earnings.
Asian stocks gained on Thursday, lead by the Wall Street rally.
However, the currency markets focused more on Trump’s trade protectionism and the negative impact it could have on the dollar.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.2 percent to 99.846.
Spot gold may retest support at $1,197 per ounce, with a good chance of breaking below this level and falling towards the next support at $1,182, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
“Gold continues to find support from safe haven buying amidst some near-term weakness in the U.S. dollar,” Daniel Hynes, Senior Commodity Strategist with ANZ said.
“Political uncertainty has intensified in early 2017, with Brexit and President Trump’s combative trade policies resulting in a fall in risk appetite.”
Gold hit two-month highs earlier in the week and has rallied about 7 percent since mid-December, fuelled by worries over Trump’s policies.
However, physical gold demand in India was weak due to higher prices, while Chinese demand ebbed ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, traders said.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.63 percent to 799.07 tonnes on Wednesday from 804.11 tonnes on Tuesday.
Spot silver fell 0.4 percent to $16.91.
Platinum was firm at $978.10. Palladium rose 0.2 percent to $730.50, after falling over 7 percent in the previous session to a near 3-week low of $727.50.
“We have to suspect that heavy fund selling was a factor,” said Meir of FCStone.
“The market may also be getting nervous about the increasing trade tensions between the U.S. and Mexico where a substantial amount of car production could be jeopardised by an increase in duties that will inevitably be passed on to consumers.”