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Gold hits 5-week low on firmer dollar

London, March 25, 2014

Gold fell to its lowest in more than five weeks on Tuesday, as the dollar edged higher on after a top Federal Reserve official reinforced the likelihood of higher US interest rates in the first half of 2015.

In an interview with CNBC, Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser said that Fed Chair Janet Yellen has not made a mistake about the timing of signals on possible rate hikes at the FOMC meeting last week.

Low interest rates, which cut the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion above other assets, had been a key factor driving bullion higher in recent years.

Spot gold, higher initially, hit its lowest since Feb 14 at $1,305.50 an ounce after the Fed's official comments. It was down 0.1 percent to $1,307.79 by 1242 GMT.

US gold futures fell $2.60 to $1,308.50 an ounce.

"Investors are moving on to the macroeconomic factors although there is still a lot of talk of sanctions against Russia," Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler said.

"The outlook for gold looks bearish given what we just heard from the Fed, the possible rise in interest rates soon after the QE tapering is done."

The metal hit a six-month high of $1,391.76 last week as mounting geopolitical tensions and fears over slowing economic growth spurred demand for the metal as an insurance against risk.

"With the price unable to break through $1,400 recently, selling has returned to the market and it remains back on track for lower numbers," Societe Generale head of research Asia Mark Keenan said.

The dollar rose 0.2 percent against a basket of major currencies, also helped by euro weakness after European Central Bank governing council member and Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said negative interest rates were an option the bank could use to counter strong gains in the single currency. - Reuters




Tags: US | Gold | Dollar | bullion |

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