Gold prices eased on Tuesday in line with stock markets, oil and the euro as investors took profits after last week’s 6-1/2 month high, though expectations the Federal Reserve’s latest stimulus measures would spark further price gains limited losses. A sharp fall in oil prices late on Monday sparked a drop in gold, pulling it further from the peak of $1,777.51 an ounce it hit last week after the Federal Reserve announced a third round of monetary stimulus measures to boost growth. The U.S. central bank said it would buy $40 billion of mortgage-backed debt each month until the U.S. jobs outlook improved substantially, as long as inflation remained contained, in a move known as quantitative easing. Gold rose 2 percent on the day of the move, which may benefit gold by maintaining pressure on long-term interest rates, boosting liquidity and fanning inflation fears. “The policy says that, even if we reach economic sustainability, central banks will keep interest rates low and monetary policy loose,” LGT Capital Management analyst Bayram Dincer said. “The forward-looking guidance of central banks is very favorable for real assets, because in that kind of scenario you have inflation-hedge and diversification benefits provided mainly by gold.” In the short term, however, gold remains under pressure in line with other assets. Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,756.09 an ounce at 6:12 a.m. EDT (1012 GMT), while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down $11.60 an ounce at $1,759. From a technical perspective, any fresh rise in gold prices is expected to run into resistance at this year’s high of $1,790 an ounce, hit in late February, according to analysts who study past price moves for clues on the next direction of trade. “We are happy to stay bullish gold,” Barclays Capital said in a note. “Our upside targets are at $1,791 and then $1,803. We also expect silver to extend gains toward our initial target near $35.” Silver was down 0.3 percent at $34.09 an ounce, having tracked gold to a 6-1/2 month high at $34.92 last week. Among platinum group metals, spot platinum was down 0.6 percent at $1,651.74 an ounce, while spot palladium was down 0.5 percent at $670.20. Platinum posted its biggest one-day drop since early April on Monday, down 2.3 percent. Strikers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in South Africa have cut their basic wage demand to below 11,000 rand ($1,300) a month to try to end a six-week strike that halted platinum output at the world’s third-largest producer, a negotiator said on Tuesday. Violent unrest at the mine last month killed 45 people and stopped production, sparking a sharp rally in platinum prices. “The psychology of the market seems to be shifting from concern that the strikes would spread and possibly shut down the bulk of South Africa’s PGM production, to cautious optimism that the wave of industrial stoppages has crested and may be receding,” HSBC said in a note. “Since industrial demand is sluggish, a relaxation of supply concerns may take prices lower,” it added. “The labor situation remains volatile, however, and renewed strife and fresh labor stoppages can occur at any time and drive prices higher. Based on this, we do not expect any further declines to be steep.”
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