Gold Prices Turn Up as Dollar Turns Down

Gold prices turned higher Wednesday, following a decline in the dollar.

Gold for February delivery closed up 0.2% at $1,339.20 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices hit $1,331 a troy ounce earlier in the session.

The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index was down 0.1% at 84.33. A falling dollar tends to boost gold, which is priced in the U.S. currency and becomes more affordable to foreign investors when the dollar declines. The dollar rallied later in the day, after regular trading in gold had concluded.

A steep drop in the dollar has been one of the key factors behind gold's recent rally, which has seen prices for the metal rise around 8% from December lows.

Monetary tightening by central banks in Europe and China will likely keep the dollar on the back foot and provide a boost to gold in the months ahead, analysts at TD Securities said in a note to clients. Signs that the Federal Reserve may raise rates less aggressively than expected can take prices to $1,375 a troy ounce this year, the report said.

Gold struggles to compete with yield-bearing investments when interest rates rise.

In base metals, copper for March delivery was down 1% at $3.1890 a pound.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 17, 2018 17:20 ET (22:20 GMT)