Gold Prices Mixed; China Ups Reserve Rate

Source:

"Gains were tempered on inflation worries."

Gold prices were trading sideways Friday as investors digested China's increase in its banks' reserve requirements.

Gold for February delivery was slipping $3.50 to $1,389.30 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price Friday has traded as high as $1,393 and as low as $1,385.30.

The U.S. dollar index was lower by 0.08% to $79.96 while the euro was rising slightly to $1.32 vs. the dollar. The spot gold price was adding $3.20, according to Kitco's gold index.

Gold prices were having a mixed reaction to moves from China to cool rising inflation ahead of its core Consumer Price Index reading for November. China is set to release the data on Saturday and reports indicate it could be as high as 5.1% vs. a year ago. October's reading was 4.4%.

China raised the amount banks must hold in their reserves by 50 basis points effective Dec. 20. The move marks the sixth time this year China has taken this step, which effectively takes money out of circulation by forcing the banks to stash more.

Investors had been expecting a more aggressive interest rate increase. So on the one hand, gold prices were seeing a bit of relief at the more tame measures, but gains were tempered on worries that a reserve ratio increase won't be enough to severely tame inflation.

China also reported a big trade surplus for November with exports and imports popping 35% and 38%, respectively. Its growth will put even more pressure on the country to boost rates sooner rather than later.

According to the World Gold Council, third-quarter jewelry demand in China rose 8% from a year earlier to 101.3 tons while demand for gold bars and coins popped to 45.1 tons, a new record.

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