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Gold hits 4-week low on firm dollar, Brexit talks lend support

19 Juin 2017

Gold hit four-week lows on Monday as the dollar held firm and the market waited for comments from a top Federal Reserve official on United States monetary policy, but prices were supported by the start of talks on the terms of Britain's departure from the EU.

The US dollar index against a group of major currencies was flat at 97.187. If Dudley confirms that the Fed will remain hawkish towards interest rate hikes, then gold may remain cautious.

"This is actually a pretty good place to be" with unemployment at 4.3 percent and inflation at about 1.5 percent, Dudley, an influential policymaker and close ally of Fed Chair Janet Yellen, told a chamber of commerce in Plattsburg, New York. Data released before the Fed meeting on Wednesday showed US consumer prices unexpectedly fell in May and retail sales recorded their biggest drop in 16 months, suggesting a softening in domestic demand.

"In the wake of Friday's weak USA data, Mr Dudley could provide insight into whether the Fed is still poised to continue normalising monetary policy", said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief forex strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

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The US dollar was up 0.15 per cent at 111.020 yen.

Hedge funds and money managers raised their net long position in COMEX gold for the third straight week to the highest in seven months in the week to June 6, and upped it slightly in silver, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. United States gold futures for August delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1,254.20 an ounce.

The euro was little changed at $1.1204 after gaining about 0.5 per cent on Friday. It hardly budged on news that several people were injured in north London early on Monday after a van rammed into worshippers leaving a mosque.

Sterling has been through a turbulent month, sinking to a near two-month low of $1.2636 on June 9 on the British election shock, but rallying last week as the Bank of England came close to hiking rates after a split vote in its monetary policy committee.