Gold edges higher in Asian trade

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SINGAPORE (Commodity Online) : Gold edged higher in Asian trade Wednesday despite a relatively strong dollar.

Gold for immediate delivery was seen trading at $1124.42 an ounce at 11.30 a.m Singapore time while U.S. gold futures for February delivery were at $1,123.20 at the same time.

Higher rates typically boost the dollar and pressure gold, which is often used as an alternative to the U.S. currency.

On Tuesday, February delivery rose 40 cents to $1118.70 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the most-active contract reached $1129.60, the highest price since December 17. Futures jumped 2 per cent yesterday.

The dollar remained on the defensive against the yen on Wednesday after falling sharply the previous day as traders locked in gains on the greenback's rally over the past month ahead of U.S. jobs data later this week.

The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust , said its holdings stood at 1,128.745 tonnes as of Jan. 5, unchanged from the previous business day

The world's largest silver-backed exchange-traded fund, the iShares Silver Trust , said its silver holdings stood at 9,488.81 tonnes as of Jan. 5, down 0.04 percent from the previous business day.

Platinum, which had jumped to its highest price in well over a year on Tuesday, lost some of its upward momentum on Wednesday, although sister metal palladium continued to make gains.

Platinum was at $1,528.00 per ounce, down a touch from the New York notional close of $1,528.50, after earlier falling to a low of $1,513.50. It hit a 16-month high of $1,535.50 on Tuesday.

Palladium was at $419.50, up 0.4 percent from New York's notional close. It rose to $424 in the previous session, its strong level since July 2008.

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