Gold inches up on weaker dollar, stimulus hopes

Gold prices edged up on Wednesday as the dollar hovered around a one-week low and expectations of a massive stimulus package in the United States lifted bullion’s appeal.

Spot gold rose 0.2 per cent to $1,839.99 per ounce by 0210 GMT. US gold futures gained 0.2 per cent to $1,840.40.

The dollar fell to an over one-week low in the previous session. A weaker dollar makes commodities priced in the greenback more affordable for holders of other currencies.

US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he agreed with a proposal by Democratic lawmakers that would limit or phase out stimulus payments to higher-income individuals as part of his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

US layoffs eased in December and job openings increased modestly, suggesting the decline in employment was largely due to companies cutting back on hiring amid uncertainty caused by a raging Covid-19 pandemic.

Investors now await Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech before a virtual Economic Club of New York event at 1900 GMT on Wednesday.

SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.4 per cent to 1,148.34 tonnes on Tuesday from 1,152.43 tonnes on Monday.

Spot silver gained 0.6 per cent to $27.36 an ounce, palladium was down 0.3 per cent to $2,312.58. * Platinum rose 2.1 per cent to $1,200.03, after hitting $1,202.29 earlier in the session, its highest since February 2015, on supply deficit concerns.

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