Gold Gains as Tax Bill Faces Challenges

By David Hodari Features Dow Jones Newswires

Gold prices edged up on Wednesday, buoyed by a weakening dollar amid ebbing support for the Republican tax plan currently being reviewed by Congress.

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The precious metal gained 0.47% to $1,281.30 a troy ounce in midmorning trade.

The price of copper, meanwhile, fell 0.15% to $6,818.50 a metric ton as the bullish sentiment coming out of London Metal Exchange Week continued to fade.

The dollar's fall allowed gold to reclaim some of the losses made during Tuesday's broad-based commodities selloff. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others, was last down 0.12%, having weakened overnight.

That downtick came amid concerns that disagreements could slow the progress of tax reforms proposed by House Republicans and force the tax bill's proponents to change key parts of it.

"It remains very clear that we are a long way from getting anywhere close to a tax bill," said Derek Halpenny, MUFG's European global markets research head in a note.

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"Currencies, where positioning is extreme, is where you could see the greatest disappointment [over the tax bill] as expectations of a deal continue to recede," Mr. Halpenny added.

The Trump administration's activities abroad were also seen as underpinning the precious metal.

"You've got Trump doing his tour in Asia and trying to garner support for tougher sanctions against North Korea. His Xi meeting today is lending support to gold," said Nitesh Shah, an ETF Securities commodities strategist.

Mr. Shah also pointed to events in the Arab gulf as constituting growing geopolitical risk, including the Saudi Arabian government's crackdown on alleged corruption among the kingdom's elite and the regime's spiraling tensions with Iran.

Among precious metals, silver was up 0.88% at $17.10 a troy ounce, palladium rose 0.33% to $1,001.25 a troy ounce and platinum gained 0.95% to $931.55 a troy ounce.

Among base metals, zinc gained 0.41% to $3,176 a metric ton, aluminum fell 0.35% to $2,127.50 a metric ton, tin fell 0.03% to $19,475 a metric ton, nickel fell 0.63% to $12,580 a metric ton and lead climbed 0.28% to $2,503 a metric ton.

Write to David Hodari at david.hodari@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 08, 2017 05:55 ET (10:55 GMT)