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Amid dollar weakness, thin trading, gold prices at a three-week high

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, edged down 0.1 per cent



edged up on Tuesday on low-volume trade to more than three-week highs, helped by a weaker

Spot gold was up 0.3 per cent at $1,278.06 per ounce at 0252 GMT, after hitting its highest since December 1 at $1,279.05.

US gold futures rose 0.3 per cent to $1,282.50 an ounce.

The futures market was closed for Christmas on Monday and volumes remained extremely thin on Tuesday.

Anemic US consumption data on Friday helped gold, while the remained under pressure in thin trading in Asia, said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

"With North Korea's Constitution Day Holiday on Wednesday, there may also be an element of risk hedging in play for regional at the moment," Halley said.

Tension has been rising over North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, which it pursues in defiance of years of UN Security Council resolutions, with the bellicose rhetoric coming from both Pyongyang and the White House.

US growth prospects dimmed on Friday as data showed spending outpaced income in November and the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation measure - the personal consumption expenditures price index that excludes food and energy - rose by just 0.1 percent in November.

The index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, edged down 0.1 per cent to 93.256.

Gold rose for a second straight week last week and closed above its 200-day moving average, a key and a positive technical indicator.

Adding a touch of bullishness to gold was the data from US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday, which showed that hedge funds and money managers had increased their net long stance in gold in the week to Dec. 19.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.18 per cent to 837.50 tonnes on Friday from 836.02 tonnes on Thursday.

Spot palladium rose 0.3 per cent to $1,039.60 an ounce on Tuesday, after hitting a 17-year high in the previous session.

Prices touched their highest since February 2001 at $1,042.50 on Friday as strong demand from autocatalyst makers reinforced the prospect of market shortages.

Analysts expect that about 80 percent of global palladium demand will come from autocatalysts for gasoline-powered cars, which many now prefer over diesel-fuelled vehicles.

Spot silver hit more than three-week highs on Tuesday. It was up 0.4 per cent to $16.42 per ounce.

Spot platinum rose 0.5 per cent to $918.40 an ounce.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 26 2017. 09:06 IST