Gold Gains as Dollar Index Sinks

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices were gaining Wednesday as the U.S. dollar retreated against a basket of global currencies.

Gold for June delivery at the COMEX division of the CME was tacking on $13.30 to $1,392.20 an ounce. The gold price traded as high as $1,393.80 and as low as $1,379.10 an ounce, while the spot price was up $9.90, according to Kitco's gold index.

The U.S. dollar index was falling 0.77% to $83.61. Gold's rise came a day after options expiration and as heavy investor rollover to August futures contracts moved from the front-month June contracts.

The yellow metal posted volatile swings on Tuesday as the price initially dipped on strong U.S. house prices and consumer confidence, before a pop higher and a settlement in the red.

Tom Vitiello, principal at Aurum Options Strategies, said open interest dipped after options expiration, which would suggest that more traders were squaring their books and liquidating their positions instead of rolling over their contracts.

This suggests gold could be stuck in a tight trading range, with little chance of a breakout in either direction, said Vitiello.

Silver prices for July delivery were ticking higher by 23 cents to $22.43 an ounce.

Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Wednesday that the financial community must "come to terms" with capital controls and financial regulation in order to rebuild the global financial system. Following his remarks, the yen has gained to ¥100.94 against the U.S. dollar from the prior day's close at ¥102.36.

To gold investors and traders, Kuroda is best known for the massive monetary stimulus program he implemented almost as soon as he rose to head the Japanese central bank. Kuroda announced in April the plan to implement $520 billion in government bond purchases per year.

Kuroda, though, didn't focus as much on global central banks' quantitative easing efforts that have been a catalyst for higher gold prices on concerns of inflation.

"With all the quantitative easing -- and Japan, I know they have said some things to the contrary today, Kuroda saying that they have to be responsible and disciplined -- but I think that ... once inflation starts it's very difficult to control," Rob Kurzatkowski, a senior analyst at OptionsXpress Holdings, said in a phone interview from Chicago.

As for Wednesday's slight climb in prices, traders and analysts aren't enthusiastic that it's the start of a rally.

"It's really kind of a nothing day," said Mike Zarembski, a senior analyst at OptionsXpress Holdings. "I think today is just really more of a lot of positioning going forward: getting out of June contracts, taking the position squaring."

Zarembski said he could see the gold market this summer quieting down and heading into a choppy trading range between $1,300 and maybe $1,500 on the high end. Zarembski said he sees a sideways trade for the next few weeks.

Gold mining stocks were mostly higher on Wednesday. Shares of Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM) were adding 5.9%, while shares of Barrick Gold ( ABX) were increasing 4%.

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD) was up 0.78% at $134.53 a share, while iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) was up 0.74% at $13.52 a share.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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