Gold little changed ahead of US housing data

Gold is little changed on Thursday trading ahead of the release of US housing data, amid weakness of the dollar.

The previous session, gold added $9.90 or 0.67% after closing at $1497.10 an ounce, while gold price was setin London at $1496.50 per ounce inclining from $1491.25 during the AM fixing.

Eyes will be on US housing data which is expected to show that existing home sales advanced at slower rate in April. The reading is predicted to increase 2.0% compared with March's 3.7% rise. The data is going to be watched after the drop in US housing starts and building permits earlier this week.

The downbeat data has halted the dollar's rebound which gave the chance to commodities to rise this week.

Spot gold is trading at $1495.87 an ounce after recording a high of $1499.62 and a low of $1493.30, while oil inched up to $110.10 a barel after opening at $99.74.

Among other precious metals, platinum dipped to $1771.00 from the day's opening of $1784.70, palladium edged down to $728.50 from $733.20 and silver slipped to $35.23 from $35.51, as of 07:25 GMT.

The dollar halted its two-week rally against a basket of major currencies, as the dollar index fell for the fourth straight session to 75.30 compared with the day's starting level of 75.36.

Also, the Fed minutes did not give support to the dollar; Fed officials referred to a gradual exit plan yet they mentioned that any moves would necessarily begin soon.

Some analysts believe that the dollar may strengthen again after the end of the $600 billion bond-purchase program next month.

Gold did not benefit from the disappointing Japanese growth data which showed 0.9% contraction in the quarter ending March from the revised 0.8% in the fourth quartet of 2010, which led to the drop in Asian shares.

The precious metal is not taking advantage of European debt concerns, especially after the approval of the Portuguese bailout, as ECB policy makers ruled out the idea of restructuring the Greek debt after a clash with political leaders which may make repaying debt a difficult mission for the debt-strapped economy.

Gold after the sharp drop recorded in the week ended May 6 is still moving in the same areas around $1495, unable to rebound as it finds resistance at $1500 Psychological level and technical resistance at $1505.