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gold consolidates, ticks down on firmer dollar

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    Gold consolidates, ticks down on firmer dollar
    Tue Mar 1, 2005 05:57 AM ET
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    LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - Gold fell back in Europe on Tuesday under pressure from a firmer dollar, but most traders and analysts thought it would tilt again at its high for the year of $437.55 per ounce.
    By 1033 GMT, spot gold traded at $434.40/435.10 a troy ounce, down from New York's late quote on Monday of $436.00/436.70.

    John Reade, precious metals analyst with UBS Investment Bank said he expected to see gold higher through the balance of the year but felt its near-term outlook was clouded by the threat of gold sales from the International Monetary Fund.

    "We've had a fair short-covering rally and we are in a position now where gold will find it harder work to move up from here," he said.

    Nevertheless, he pegged gold's one-month target at $430 an ounce and three-month at $450, up from $410 and $440 respectively -- with the rise attributed to further expected weakness in the dollar.

    The dollar retreated from the previous session's six-week lows versus the euro as investors focused on the potential for U.S. interest rates.

    Reade was also eyeing interest rates.

    "It feels to me that the market is beginning to realise that U.S. rates are actually too low," he said, adding that any sign rates may have to rise faster than expected could trigger a sell-off in many asset classes, gold included.

    James Moore of said the dollar would remain key to market direction, noting economic data from the United States later in the week could influence markets.

    The ISM non-manufacturing data for February is due out on Thursday, followed by non-farm payrolls on Friday.

    Silver slipped back a little to $7.28/7.31 an ounce from $7.33/7.36.

    Platinum firmed to $864.00/868.00 from $862.50/867.50, while palladium was unchanged at $180.00/185.00.
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