PRECIOUS-Gold holds firm on struggling dollar, equity selloff

(Updates prices, adds Reuters technicals)

* Platinum on track for first weekly gain in 7

* Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust fell on Thursday

By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri

BENGALURU, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices steadied onFriday, holding firm near a six-month high struck in theprevious session, as the dollar remained under pressure due to asubdued outlook towards U.S. interest rates and the economy, andinvestors shunned risky assets.

Spot gold XAU= rose 0.1 percent to $1,260.92 per ounce by0728 GMT, after jumping more than 1 percent in the previoussession. The precious metal hit a high of $1,266.4 on Thursday,a level last seen on June 26.

The bullion has gained about 1.9 percent so far this week.

U.S. gold futures GCv1 declined 0.3 percent to $1,263.7per ounce on Friday.

"A depreciating dollar coupled with expectations of fewerrate hikes in 2019 remain the primary factors supporting spotgold prices," said Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst with FXTM.

"The U.S. Federal Reserve's failure to reassure investorsthat they understand the risks across global markets is seenfuelling appetite for safe-haven gold in the short- tomedium-term."

The Fed's commitment on Wednesday to retain the core of itsplan to tighten monetary policy, despite rising uncertaintyabout global economic growth, rattled stock markets andpressured the dollar, making the U.S. currency-denominated goldmore appealing for non-U.S. investors. USD/

"With volatile equity markets accelerating the flight tosafety, gold is likely to remain supported for the rest of2018," FXTM's Otunuga said.

Global stocks continued their slide on Friday as the threatof a U.S. government shutdown and of further hikes in U.S.borrowing costs fanned investor unease over the economicoutlook. MKTS/*:nL1N1YP10I

"Traders expect risk sentiment to remain on very wobblyconditions entering the new year," said Stephen Innes, APACtrading head at OANDA in Singapore.

The dollar's weakness against its Japanese peer JPY= hasparked gold in "a perfect spot" for investors, Innes added.

Spot gold may fall into a range of $1,245-$1,253 per ounce,following its failure to break a resistance at $1,266, accordingto Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

SPDR Gold TrustGLD , the world's largest gold-backedexchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.34 percent to769.14 tonnes on Thursday.

Among other precious metals, palladium XPD= slid 1 percentto $1,251.99 per ounce, but was up about 2 percent for the weekin what would be its fourth consecutive weekly gain.

Silver XAG= fell marginally to $14.76 per ounce, but hasgained over 1 percent so far in the week.

Platinum XPT= rose 0.2 percent to $795.10 per ounce andwas headed for a weekly gain for the first time in seven. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editingby Subhranshu Sahu) ((; +91 80 67490997 (If within U.S. call 651-848-5832); Reuters

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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