Gold Hits 6 Week High
* U.S. dollar falls to two-month low
* Fed Chair nominee to appear in Congress this week
* Technical indicators suggest gold to keep rising
(New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments; adds second byline and NEW YORK dateline) By Renita D. Young and Peter Hobson NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Gold prices rose on Monday, buoyed by a weaker dollar, as investors looked ahead to congressional testimony by the nominee to chair the U.S. Federal Reserve and a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans on tax reform.
Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,294.44 an ounce by 1:36 p.m. EST (1836 GMT), after hitting $1,299.13, its highest since Oct. 16. U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled up $7.10, or 0.6 percent, at $1,294.40 per ounce. “We’ve seen a fairly firm recovery underpinned by a weaker dollar and some data readings from the U.S. and elsewhere that called into question the sustainability of growth,” said Mitsubishi analyst Jon Butler.
Last week, U.S. PMI and capital goods data missed expectations, pressuring the dollar which slid to its weakest in two months. A weaker dollar can stimulate demand for gold, making the precious metal cheaper for holders of other currencies. Also weighing on the dollar were the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting, showing policymakers were concerned about low inflation and could be wary of raising interest rates rapidly.
“It’s fairly safe to say markets are not all that convinced that we’ll get as many rate hikes as some people are speculating,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates because they tend to strengthen the dollar and push U.S. bond yields higher, reducing the appeal of non-yielding bullion. Jerome Powell, the nominee to replace Janet Yellen as Fed chair next year, is due to appear before Congress on Tuesday.
“This confirmation hearing might be seen as a risk-on environment; a positive for gold,” said Josh Graves, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago. Also on Tuesday, Trump will meet with Senate Republicans to discuss tax reform legislation that could accelerate U.S. economic growth.
“If we see finally some sort of movement in this area, that could reignite the ‘Trumpflation’ trade, risk assets could go to the races and we could see a pullback in gold as a risk hedge,” Mitsubishi’s Butler said.
On the technical side, gold broke through fibonacci resistance at $1,295.40 and momentum indicators suggested that gold prices would continue to rise, ScotiaMocatta analysts said in a note.
Gold options on the December contract were set to expire on Monday. Among other precious metal prices, silver was up 0.5 percent at $17.06 an ounce, platinum advanced 0.6 percent at $945.65 and palladium was up 0.9 percent at $1,006.25.
(Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio and David Goodman)