Gold bars and granules. File photo: Reuters

London - Gold prices rose above $1,285 (R13,685) an ounce on Wednesday, recovering from a two-month low the previous week, as stocks took a breather after a 2-1/2 week rally and the dollar index retreated from 13-month highs.

Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,285.50 an ounce at 11:46 SA time, extending a recovery from last week's low at $1,273.06, while US gold futures for December delivery were up $1.10 an ounce at $1,286.30.

Soft German economic data and corporate results helped arrest a rally in stocks, which had climbed 6 percent since August 8, while the dollar index eased 0.2 percent after hitting its highest in more than a year in earlier trade.

“The dollar looks strong, but very overbought,” Saxo Bank's head of commodity research Ole Hansen said.

“Short term, I think gold could build a bit further on the rejection at 1271, looking for a move back up towards 1296 or even 1302, but not higher.”

The euro edged off its lowest point in almost a year on Wednesday as Germany's finance minister played down speculation over more European Central Bank monetary policy easing in the coming months.

A measure of German consumer sentiment showed its biggest drop in more than three years on Wednesday, while the impact of the Ukrainian crisis and tensions between the West and Moscow were visible in European company results.



Traders reported some gold buying overnight in Asia, the leading market for physical gold, but volumes remained light.

“The market is still very cautious.

The physical side is not as good as in the previous month and even last year,” said Brian Lan, managing director of retailer GoldSilver Central Pte Ltd in Singapore.

Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund and a gauge of investor demand, fell 0.4 percent to 797.09 tonnes on Monday from 800.08 tonnes on Friday.

Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.7 percent at $19.44 an ounce, while spot platinum was up 0.5 percent at $1,417.75 an ounce and spot palladium was up 0.3 percent at $883.75 an ounce.

Exchange-traded funds backed by palladium showed significant outflows.

Data on Tuesday from ETF Securities showed holdings of its UK-listed palladium exchange-traded product fell by 120,625 ounces, or 45 percent.

“Palladium has had the benefit of willing buyers prepared to step forward all year; and those willing buyers must have stepped forward again to absorb this ETF selling,” UBS said in a note.

“Otherwise, 120,000 ounces of palladium selling - a very sizeable volume - would have been acutely reflected in the price.” - Reuters