Gold prices headed for biggest weekly loss since early Nov
While gold has recovered from a 1-1/2-week low of $1,705.64 an ounce hit on Wednesday, it has been unable to break a strong resistance at $1,730 an ounce in a market roiled by conflicting comments from Washington about the U.S. budget negotiations.
Top Republican lawmaker John Boehner said on Thursday that the talks had made little progress, after expressing optimism about reaching a deal with the White House just a day earlier.
If the parties fail to reach an agreement, $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts - dubbed as the "fiscal cliff" - will automatically kick off in early January, threatening to push the world's top economy into recession.
"Gold is back in its old $1,700-$1,730 range," said Chen Min, an analyst at Jinrui Futures in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, referring to a range in which gold had traded earlier this month.
"On the macro side, the market sees very little direction, while the 'fiscal cliff' talk poses much uncertainty and risk."
Spot gold traded little changed at $1,726.29 an ounce by 0258 GMT, headed for a 1.6 percent weekly drop but a 0.4 percent monthly gain.
U.S. gold was nearly flat at $1,726.50.
Technical analysis suggested signals were mixed for spot gold, as it was
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