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By
Reuters
Published
Oct 28, 2010
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Gold recovers as dollar weakens ahead of Fed meet

By
Reuters
Published
Oct 28, 2010

(Reuters) - Gold rose back toward $1,330 an ounce in Europe on Thursday as fresh dollar weakness reversed the previous session's decline, but trading was cautious ahead of Federal Reserve talks on monetary easing next week.



Spot gold was bid at $1,329.85 an ounce at 7:25 a.m. EDT, against $1,324.70 late in New York on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose $7.40 to $1,330.00.

The metal has fallen 4.5 percent since hitting a record high at $1,387.10 an ounce earlier this month, as concerns that potential U.S. quantitative easing was too heavily priced into the financial markets led to a bounce in the dollar.

A Reuters poll showed Wall Street analysts expect the Federal Reserve to buy between $80-$100 billion worth of assets per month under a new program widely expected to be unveiled after the Fed's meeting on November 2-3.

"Our colleagues on the FX side think the numbers that are circling in the market on QE measures are far too high," said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann.

"We expect some lower numbers, and that will probably help the dollar. That could weigh on precious metals prices."

But support came for gold on Thursday as the dollar fell, with U.S. Treasury yields retreating from a recent rise as investors recalibrated expectations for monetary easing, with many betting measures would be more modest and gradual than had been expected.

Gold is likely to stick to a relatively narrow range ahead of this, analysts said.

"Gold continues to trade defensively as quantitative easing expectations are ratcheted back," said UBS in a note. "While some investors take risk off the table, others are reluctant to initiate fresh longs in advance of next week's key risk events."

INDIAN BUYING PICKS UP

Gold's recent price drop tempted buyers back to the market in India, the world's biggest bullion consumer. Traders hunted bargains to meet ongoing festival and wedding demand, aided by a strong rupee, while scrap sellers in the region held back after prices retreated from record levels.

"There have been reports out of India that gold buying there is increasing," said Briesemann. "The latest fall in prices is clearly being used to stock up with gold in the run up to religious festivals like Diwali, which takes place next week."

"Gold scrap sales are relatively low at the same time."

Among other precious metals, silver was bid at $23.71 an ounce against $23.53.

JPMorgan Chase & Co and HSBC Holdings Plc were hit with two lawsuits on Wednesday by investors who accused them of conspiring to drive down silver prices.

The banks were accused of manipulating the market for COMEX silver futures and options contracts from the first half of 2008 by amassing huge short positions in silver futures contracts that are designed to profit when prices fall.

Platinum was at $1,680.42 an ounce against $1,672, while palladium was at $623 against $612.63.

While they have come under some pressure from recent weakness in gold prices, the metals are currently outperforming gold and silver as they are well supported by fundamentals, analysts said.

"Platinum faces possible supply constraints in South Africa, and reduced shipments from Russian State inventories may constrain palladium supply in the coming years," said RBS Global Banking & Markets in a note.

"The main end use for platinum group metals is in automotive emission control catalyst," it added. "Demand from this sector is underpinned by legislation."

(Reporting by Jan Harvey; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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