Gold ticks higher, on track for 12th annual gain
Several major Asian stock indexes closed on Monday with the strongest annual gains in years, but investors feared the equity market could change course because of the lack progress in talks to avert the looming U.S. "fiscal cliff".
"I have nothing to share today. I guess the market in the Middle East will still be trading a little bit. But that's about it," said a physical gold dealer in Singapore.
"Premiums are unchanged at $1 to $1.20."
The euro slipped 0.16 percent to $1.319, hovering below an 8-month high of $1.33085 hit on Dec. 19.
An agreement on the U.S. budget would be viewed as a positive for riskier currencies such as the euro and Australian dollar, while a deadlock would be deemed positive for the safe-haven and highly liquid dollar.
A softer dollar boosts commodities priced in the greenback by making them cheaper for holders of other currencies.
"There's nothing at all in Asia. It's very quiet. We don't expect surprises until the talks resume," said a dealer in Singapore.
Buoyed by his re-election in November, President Barack Obama has insisted that any deal must include a tax increase on the wealthiest Americans, who have seen their earnings rise steadily over the past decade at a time when income for the less affluent has stalled.
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