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Gold nears 3-month low on dollar and equities strength
March 11, 2015, 5:51 pm

Gold fell close to its lowest price in more than three months on Wednesday and looked set for an eighth straight losing session as a robust dollar and expectations of higher US rates curbed appetite for the metal.

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,158.70 an ounce by 1250 GMT, not far from the $1,155.60 hit in the previous session which was its lowest since December 1.

US gold for April delivery was down $2.50 an ounce at $1,157.80.

Stronger than expected US non-farm payroll data on Friday renewed expectations the US Federal Reserve would begin to increase interest rates in June.

Higher rates could dent demand for assets that do not pay interest, such as gold, and boost the dollar, which was trading at its highest in more than 11 years against a basket of major currencies.

“I don’t expect prices to fall below $1,150 as opportunistic buying would come in at that level,” ING Bank senior strategist Hamza Khan said.

“The Fed has been so evasive in nailing down a date for an interest rate hike that until we actually see some concrete plans we are going to be trading within the $1,150 to $1,250 range.”

A strong US currency makes dollar-denominated assets such as gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The metal was also under pressure from firmer European shares, which bounced back from the previous session’s sell-off as a weaker euro lifted stocks in the region’s exporters.

Bargain Hunters 

The drop in gold to multi-month lows has attracted some bargain hunters in Asia, the top bullion-consuming region, traders said. In China, the metal was traded at a premium of about $5 an ounce to the London global benchmark, an indication of good buying interest.

Sustained physical buying could provide a floor for falling prices. Weakness in gold spread to other precious metals, with platinum taking the biggest hit. Prices slumped to their lowest since July 2009 at $1,117.50 an ounce.

Silver fell to a two-month low of $15.51 an ounce and palladium was down 0.5 percent at $797.30 an ounce.

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