Gold steady as rising risk appetite offsets Fed pause views

Gold has risen more than 10 percent since touching 1-1/2-year lows in mid-August, mainly due to tumultuous equity markets and a softer dollar

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BENGALURU: Gold prices held steady on Monday as expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will pause its multi-year interest rate hike cycle were offset by a recovery in investor appetite for risk.

Spot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,281.41 per ounce by 0610 GMT, while U.S. gold futures fell 0.1 percent to $1,281.10 an ounce.

Less than two weeks ahead of the U.S. central bank’s first policy meeting of the new year, Federal Reserve officials have left little doubt that they want to stop raising interest rates – at least for a while.

Slower global growth, a stock meltdown last quarter, and a partial U.S. government shutdown that threatens consumer confidence and spending have many in the Fed worried.

Gold has risen more than 10 percent since touching 1-1/2-year lows in mid-August, mainly due to tumultuous equity markets and a softer dollar.

Asian markets were steady on Monday after Wall Street posted a fourth straight week of gains last week.

Chinese economy slowed at the end of last year, underlining the urgent need for more stimulus as Beijing wrestles with the United States over trade, a data showed on Monday

Investors are also waiting to hear British Prime Minister Theresa May’s ‘Plan B’ for Brexit, which is due to be presented to parliament later on Monday after her deal was rejected by lawmakers last week.

Reflecting investor appetite for gold, holdings of SPDR Gold, the largest gold-based exchange-traded fund, rose 1.5 percent on Friday to 809.76 tonnes.

Meanwhile, spot palladium, which hit a record high of $1,434.50 last week, was up 0.4 percent at $1,382 on Monday.

Palladium has risen 9.5 percent so far this month on supply concerns in South Africa and Russia, which are keeping the market tight amid strong demand, ANZ analysts said in a note.

Spot silver fell 0.1 percent to $15.30, while spot platinum fell 2.2 percent to $797.50.

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