Gold at 1-week high as Trump's Fed criticism weighs on dollar

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LONDON (Aug 21): Gold rose to a one-week high on Tuesday as the dollar weakened after US President Donald Trump criticised the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates.

A weaker dollar generally boosts the price of dollar-denominated gold.

Spot gold was 0.3% higher at US$1,193.51 an ounce by 1000 GMT, after touching US$1,196.27 earlier, the highest level since Aug 14. The precious metal was gaining for the third straight session.

US gold futures climbed 0.5% to US$1,200.60 an ounce.

"Trump's noises are helping gold demand at the margins but the root of that is largely through the dollar easing," said ETF Securities analyst Nitesh Shah.

Trump also said in the interview with Reuters that the US central bank should do more to help him to boost the economy.

Trump made his first departure from a tradition of American presidents rarely criticising the Fed in July when he condemned the US central bank's monetary policy tightening.

Although Trump's comments helped gold rise, Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said the comments would not fundamentally change the outlook for bullion or monetary policy in the United States.

"In the end what determines the outlook for US monetary policy is the health of the US economy," he said.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising US rates as it increases the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding metal while boosting the dollar.

The US central bank has raised interest rates twice this year and is targeting two more hikes, with the next one seen in September. However, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said on Monday he was maintaining his expectation for only one more interest rate hike this year.

Meanwhile, hedge funds and money managers increased their net short position in COMEX gold contracts for the sixth straight week to another record in the week to Aug 14, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed.

Resistance for gold sits at US$1,200.70, the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level of the July high to August low range while support is at US$1,146.20 which is the January 2017 low, ScotiaMocatta said in a note.

Meanwhile, investors looked ahead to the release of the Fed's August policy meeting minutes on Wednesday and the bank's annual symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming later this week.

Markets were also focused on a US-China trade meeting this week, but Trump said on Monday he did not expect much progress from talks with Beijing.

Elsewhere, platinum rose 0.5% to US$797.50 an ounce, having touched its highest in a week. Spot silver climbed 0.6% to US$14.79 an ounce and palladium edged up 0.4% to US$914.50.