Gold holds below seven-week high as dollar, equities recover

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By Manolo Serapio Jr

MANILA (Reuters) – Gold hovered below a seven-week high on Tuesday as equity markets and the U.S. dollar rebounded from a brutal selloff in the prior session that was fuelled by fears over the fate of the Chinese .

After Monday’s rout, most Asian stocks recovered in tandem with U.S. futures and Chinese shares pared . The dollar rose 0.6 percent versus a basket of currencies after falling the most since 2011.

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“If that remains the case over the course of this session then buying interest in gold could dry up,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in .

Spot gold was flat at $ 1,154.60 an ounce by 0240 GMT. It closed a tad lower on Monday after a five-day rally that lifted it to $ 1,168.40 on Friday, its loftiest since July 7.

U.S. gold for December delivery was also flat at $ 1,154 an ounce.

Gold was among the least bruised by Monday’s selloff, dropping half a percent versus a 6 percent slide in Brent crude and a 2 percent decline in .

A near-9 percent dive in China shares sent global stocks and commodity prices tumbling overnight. That helped gold hold up as uncertainty over the global economy boosted investor appetite for safe-haven assets.

“Gold should continue to hold its value during the current market turbulence, however a material surge higher is unlikely as participants find liquidity by selling all asset classes, including precious metals,” MKS Group trader James Gardiner said in a note.

Also potentially limiting gold’s upside potential, a key Federal Reserve official stuck to his view that a U.S. interest rate hike would happen this year. Atlanta Fed Dennis Lockhart said the Fed will likely begin raising rates “sometime this year,” even as the steep drop in oil prices clouds the inflation outlook. Two weeks ago, Lockhart said he was “very disposed” to a rate hike in .

CMC Markets’ McCarthy believes a U.S. rate hike can still happen next month.

“The Fed is focused on the underlying economy, not the share market. They want to normalise rates so that they have room to move should another emerge,” he said.

Spot palladium fell to as much as $ 555.50 an ounce, its lowest since July 2012, before paring losses to trade at $ 564.25, down 1.1 percent.

Platinum gained 0.5 percent to $ 993 an ounce and silver rose 0.8 percent to $ 14.90.

(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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