Gold Rises Slightly as Dollar Slips

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices were gaining slightly on Wednesday as the U.S. dollar weakened against a basket of international currencies.

Gold for August delivery at the COMEX division of the CME was gaining $5.70 to $1,382.70 an ounce. The gold price traded as high as $1,386.10 and as low as $1,372.20 an ounce, while the spot price was ticking up $4.38.

"It's quiet, and has been all week," said James Steel, chief commodities analyst at HSBC.

Steel said he didn't expect gold prices to push much higher on Wednesday as China remained closed for a holiday, which has left traders without much of a sense where physical demand is hovering in the market.

Silver prices for July delivery were up 11 cents to $21.76 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was slipping 0.01% to $81.04.

Strength in the euro was offering gold some support as it was gaining against the greenback to $1.3317 from the prior day's close at $1.3313.

Gold exchange-traded products experienced outflows in May of $5.7 billion, which was an improvement from the $8.7 billion outflow in April, according to data from BlackRock.

HSBC's Steel said gold ETF outflows have continued to dribble off.

Traders also are preparing for the Federal Reserve's policy statement due next Wednesday. Along with the statement, the Fed will release its economic projections and Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a press conference.

Questions have been swirling as to whether the Fed will scale back on its monetary stimulus. Economists and analysts suspect the central bank eventually will taper its purchases of mortgage-backed securities and longer-term Treasuries. Many investors view global central bank monetary stimulus as inflationary policy. Gold traders suggest Fed tapering would batter the yellow metal as the commodity often is seen as a hedge against inflation.

"I don't see them tapering until the fourth quarter, the economy is still on edge, but I do see them starting to taper," said Robert Spina, portfolio manager of the Spina Group at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

Gold mining stocks were mostly higher on Wednesday. Shares of Yamana Gold ( AUY) were lifting 2.6%, and shares of Agnico Eagle Mines ( AEM) were rising 2.2%,

Among volume leaders, Barrick Gold ( ABX) was up 1.9%.

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD) was adding 0.42% to $133.81 a share, while iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) was increasing 0.37% to $13.45.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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