U.S. Markets closed

Gold edges up as dollar, stocks slip

By Zandi Shabalala
A woman checks products in a gold and jewellery store in the central Anatolian city of Corum, Turkey, May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/Files

By Zandi Shabalala

LONDON (Reuters) - Gold inched up on Friday as the dollar and stocks fell on a delay to U.S. tax reforms, but it was still on track for a second weekly decline.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,276 an ounce at 1303 GMT. On Thursday, it fell 0.7 percent to touch its lowest since Nov. 6 at $1,270.11. The yellow metal is down 0.9 percent this week.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.2 percent to $1,279.10.

"Tax reform would be negative for gold," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch, "because this will lead to higher inflation and more Fed rate hikes."

He said the recent weakness in gold could be attributed to an ongoing rally in global equity markets, boosted by "economic optimism and hopes regarding tax reform".

The Republican tax overhaul stalled on a procedural issue, putting off any votes until Friday morning. It was unclear if there would be a decisive vote on the bill on Friday.

"The market's main focus is now whether the tax bill will pass or not," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

On Wall Street on Thursday, major indexes marked gains with the S&P 500 SPX hitting a record closing high and the Dow Jones industrial average topping the 24,000 mark for the first time.

The continued strength in equities and higher yields are putting pressure on gold, MKS PAMP said in a note.

Lower appetite for assets considered risky such as stocks, boosts the appeal of assets viewed as safer, such as gold.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was softer at 92.984 as the market waited for the tax reform bill vote.

"While gold remained in a tight range for much of November, silver is looking much sorrier on the charts and may have more downside," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said.

A lack of clear drivers has kept gold between $1,265 and $1,300 an ounce throughout November, its narrowest monthly range in 12 years.

Silver slipped 0.3 percent to $16.37 after matching an Oct. 6 low of $16.30 an ounce in the previous session. It was down over 3 percent for the week.

Palladium rose 0.4 percent to $1,010.20 and was up 1.5 percent for the week. Platinum was down 0.3 percent at $938.10 an ounce and was up 0.2 percent for the week.

(Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and David Evans)