December 26, 2017 / 1:29 AM / in a year

PRECIOUS-Gold hits over 3-week high in thin-volume trade

    Dec 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Tuesday, hitting
a more than three-week high, in low-volume trade amid a weaker
dollar.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was up 0.2 percent at $1,277.98 an ounce
at 0115 GMT on Tuesday, after hitting its highest since Dec. 1
at $1,278.14.
    * The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a
basket of six major rivals, edged down 0.1 percent to 93.283
      . 
    * U.S. gold futures         rose 0.3 percent to $1,282.20 an
ounce. 
    * The futures market was closed for the Christmas holiday on
Monday.
    * Palladium prices jumped to 17-year highs on Friday as
strong demand from autocatalyst makers reinforced the prospect
of market shortages. 
    * Spot palladium        was steady at $1,038.10 an ounce on
Tuesday. It touched its highest since February 2001 at $1,042.50
on Friday.
    * Analysts expect that about 80 percent of global palladium
demand will come from autocatalysts for gasoline-powered cars,
which many now prefer over diesel-fuelled vehicles. 
    * Japan's core consumer prices rose for the 11th straight
month and household spending jumped in November, offering the
central bank some hope a steady economic recovery will gradually
drive up inflation to its 2 percent target.             
    * The Shanghai Futures Exchange cut its margin requirements
for gold and silver futures contracts from Jan. 2.             
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.18 percent to 837.50
tonnes on Friday from 836.02 tonnes on Thursday.          
    * Hedge funds and money managers increased their bearish
position in COMEX silver contracts to a record in the week to
Dec. 19, while they increased their net long stance in gold,
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on
Friday.             
    * U.S. growth prospects dimmed on Friday as data showed
spending outpaced income in November and the Federal Reserve's
preferred inflation measure -- the personal consumption
expenditures price index that excludes food and energy -- rose
by just 0.1 percent in November.             
    * The passage of a sweeping U.S. tax reform bill investors
have been anxiously anticipating for months caused large
redemptions in equities and bonds last week as a building
consensus in the market suggested any benefits had already been
priced in.             
    * Workers at Pan African Resource's         ,         
Barberton gold mine in South Africa have ended a wildcat strike
that started on Sunday, an industry source said on Friday.
            
    * Gold demand across major centres in Asia was subdued last
week as a modest rebound in prices weighed on investor appetite.
             
    
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)
    
    1400   U.S. S&P Case-Shiller home price                 Oct 
    1500   U.S. Richmond Fed manufacturing index            Dec 
    1500   U.S. Consumer confidence                         Dec
    1530   Dallas Fed Texas manufacturing activity index    Dec

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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