Gold is stable by a strong dollar ahead of the ECB meeting

An employee poses with gold bars at the Czech National Bank in Prague January 31, 2011. REUTERS/Petr Josek (CZECH REPUBLIC - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTXXBTP

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Gold prices held steady on Thursday as the dollar traded near its highest level in more than two weeks, while weak appetite for riskier assets gave some support to the safe haven metal ahead of the ECB meeting due later on Thursday.

At 0722 GMT, spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $ 1284.59 an ounce. Earlier in the session, the metal was up 0.1 percent at $ 1288.34 an ounce.

US gold futures fell 0.2 percent to $ 1284.90 an ounce.

The dollar index, which measures the strength of the greenback against major currencies, stabilized near 97.008, its highest level since Feb. 19 and recorded earlier in the week.

“The key issue is the strong US dollar,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. There is some support for safe haven assets. Stocks in Asia have given up and this is in line with the pressure we see on high risk assets. ”

Palladium fell 0.3 percent in spot trade to $ 1533.36 an ounce, while silver fell 0.2 percent to $ 15.04 an ounce after falling to its lowest level since Dec. 27 in the previous session.

Platinum fell 0.2 percent to $ 825.33 an ounce, touching its lowest level since February 22 at $ 818.50 earlier on Thursday.

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