Gold edged up on Monday, adding to sharp gains from the previous trading session, as weakness in the dollar and equities helped the metal recoup some losses from a US interest rate hike last week.
Concerns that demand for non-interest-paying bullion will take a hit from the rate hike continue to cast a shadow, and will likely limit any rally in gold.
Spot gold had ticked up 0.3 per cent to $1,069 an ounce by 0339 GMT, adding to the 1.4 per cent gain on Friday.
“We believe that trading conditions will start to thin out, but that does not mean trading ranges will necessarily narrow,’’ said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.
Liquidity will start to drop as trading enters the last two weeks of the year.
“Given the uninspiring chart patterns, we have to suspect that the path of least resistance remains lower still for the precious group as a whole, exacerbated by a stronger dollar and a more aggressive Fed,’ Meir said. ‘
The metal saw some safe-haven bids on Friday after global equity markets fell sharply as slumping oil prices raised concerns about slower growth, while the dollar slipped against the yen on views the Bank of Japan may not ease policy as much as expected.
But the outlook for the dollar is bullish as the Fed is set to hike rates further next year.
Gold’s Friday rally followed a 2 per cent loss in the session prior to that, the metal’s biggest single-day loss in five months, as the Federal Reserve raised US interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.
In the run up to the Fed move, speculators built a record bearish bet in COMEX gold, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data had showed on Friday, a factor that could trigger some short-covering.
“We believe the pace of US rate hikes will decide the fate of gold,’’ ANZ said in a note.
The US central bank had said last week its median policymaker forecast expected the equivalent of four quarter-point hikes next year.
The metal could revisit $1,000 for the first time in six years if it breaks below its early December low at $1,045, according to technical analysts.
Assets in SPDR Gold Trust, the top gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 2.98 per cent to 648.92 tonnes on Friday, the first increase in two months. Total holdings had fallen to a seven-year low last week.