PRECIOUS-Gold slumps to 2010 lows after Yellen, market awaits ECB – by Clara Denina (Reuters U.S. – December 3, 2015)

LONDON, Dec 3 Gold hit a near-six-year low on Thursday, as the dollar soared after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen hinted at a U.S. rate hike later this month and investors nervously awaited the European Central Bank’s policy decision later in the day.

The ECB is expected to ease policy further and deliver a cocktail of measures that could include a deposit rate cut and changes to its asset-buying programme.

“(Although) the chances are pretty high the ECB could disappoint today, the market overall is positioned towards more U.S. dollar strength, related to both the ECB and also to the Federal Reserve,” Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said.

Spot gold fell to $1,045.85 an ounce, the lowest since February 2010 in earlier trade and was down 0.3 percent at $1,050.31 by 1033 GMT. U.S. gold futures slid to $1,045.40, the lowest since October 2009.

“Gold’s technical signals are still unsupportive… however, the next two weeks will be all about the U.S. rate ‘liftoff’, which is so widely expected,” ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto de Casa said.

Fed Chair Yellen said on Wednesday she was “looking forward” to an interest rate rise that will be seen as a testament to the economy’s recovery from recession.

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