Gold futures rangebound as investors monitor U.S. budget talks

Shutterstock photo - Gold futures swung between modest gains and losses in rangebound trade during U.S. morning hours on Tuesday, as negotiations between U.S. lawmakers in Washington aimed at resolving the looming fiscal cliff crisis continued to influence market sentiment.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for February delivery traded at USD1,698.95 a troy ounce during U.S. morning trade, little changed on the day.

Prices held in a tight range between USD1,697.35 a troy ounce, the daily low and a session high of USD1,704.35 a troy ounce, which was the strongest level since December 13.

Gold prices were likely to find short-term support at USD1,687.75 a troy ounce, Monday's low and resistance at USD1,711.15, the high from December 13.

Investors continued to monitor developments surrounding the fiscal cliff in the U.S., approximately USD600 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to come into effect on January 1, unless a divided Congress and the White House can work out a compromise in the two weeks left before the deadline.

Late Monday, President Barack Obama made a counter-offer to avert the crisis. The White House's latest proposal included a major change in position on tax hikes for the wealthy, moving closer to the Republicans' position.

President Obama said recently that any solution must include spending cuts and raising revenue, including increasing taxes on the wealthiest. Republican leaders say they will agree to higher revenue, but they want to close loopholes or reduce tax breaks rather than raise rates.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.15% to trade at 79.50, the lowest level since October 19.

Dollar weakness usually benefits gold, as it boosts the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for March delivery rose 0.5% to trade at USD32.43 a troy ounce, while copper for March delivery shed 0.25% to trade at USD3.657 a pound.

Trading was expected to remain subdued over the next few weeks, with year-end positioning driving flows and as holidays in many countries limit activity. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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