Gold eases as firm dollar dents safe-haven appeal

Gold eases as firm dollar dents safe-haven appeal
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BENGALURU (Aug 23): Gold prices inched lower on Monday as the dollar held near recent highs, although the losses were limited by growing concerns over the economic fallout from the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant.

Spot gold fell 0.1% to $1,779.12 per ounce by 0057 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.2% to $1,780.40.

The dollar traded near the 9-1/2-month high hit last week, denting gold's allure for holders of other currencies.

Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan, among the U.S. central bank's most forceful supporters for starting to reduce support for the economy, said on Friday he may need to adjust that view if the Delta variant slows economic growth materially.

Fed's annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, will take place on Aug. 27 virtually and not in person as planned amid surging COVID-19 Delta variant cases.

Chair Jerome Powell will give a speech at the event on the economic outlook.

Physical gold demand moderated last week in top Asian hubs as a rebound in domestic prices and a seasonal lull slowed market activity.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.3% to 1,011.61 tonnes on Friday.

Speculators raised their net long positions in COMEX gold in the week ended Aug. 17 and cut their net long positions in silver, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.

Silver rose 0.2% to $23.05 per ounce, while platinum firmed 0.3% at $998.85.

Palladium gained 1.5% to $2,307.92, having earlier hit a more than five-month low at $2,267.65.