Gold near 3-month low, investors await Fed

Written by Reuters | Singapore, April 30: | Updated: Apr 30 2008, 14:09pm hrs
Gold barely moved on Wednesday, holding near a three-month low hit the previous day, after the dollar surged against the euro, prompting investors to liquidate some of their holdings.

Investors await the outcome of a meeting by the U.S. Federal Reserve amid expectations it is ready to signal a pause in its interest rate cutting, which in theory will support the dollar but reduce gold's appeal as an alternative investment.

Gold was little changed at $873.35/874.35 an ounce, compared with $873.55/874.75 an ounce late in New York on Tuesday, when it tumbled to $868.20 an ounce, its lowest since late January, on a combination of a rise in the dollar and a fall in oil.

Gold has lost more than 15 percent in value since spiking to a record high at $1,030.80 on March 17. The drop has attracted physical buying from jewellers, which may offer support for gold, at least for now, said dealers.

"I'd suggest we're probably looking at a range for about $868 as the next support, with that resistance now at the $875 level," said Darren Heathcote of Investec Australia in Sydney.

"There's been physical buying around. I'd suggest that given that we are $60 or so lower than we were about a week ago, it would have spurred some physical buying, thinking there's a possibility of a further bounce."

The Federal Open Market Committee will unveil its decision around 1815 GMT on Wednesday, when it is expected to cut rates by a quarter percentage point to 2 percent, which would take its total rate cuts over the past seven months to 3.25 percentage points.

Gold futures for June delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1.4 an ounce to $875.4 an ounce.

The dollar barely changed at 104.05 yen, while the euro was flat at $1.5570, holding near a one-month low of $1.5540 hit the previous day.

Spot platinum fell to $1,912/1,922 an ounce from $1,918/1,938 late in New York.

The most active Tokyo platinum futures fell 244 yen per gram to 6,206 yen.

Silver rose to $16.55/16.60 an ounce from $16.51/15.59 an ounce.

Spot palladium edged up to $422/427 an ounce from $421/429 an ounce.