Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

LONDON — Gold fell by 1% on Thursday as Wall Street rose on the back of a rally in oil prices, with bullion investors quick to cash in gains from the Wednesday’s rally to 12-week highs.

US stocks opened higher as oil rebounded on talk of a concerted response to low prices by Russia and Opec producers, a day after the US Federal Reserve gave little indication of slowing the pace of future rate hikes.

Spot gold was down 1% at $1,114.25 an ounce at 3.09pm GMT, while US gold futures for February delivery were down $1.40 an ounce at $1,114.40.

Gold leapt to a 12-week high of $1,127.80 an ounce late on Wednesday after the Fed kept interest rates unchanged and said it was "closely monitoring" global economic and financial developments, while keeping an optimistic view of the US economy.

"(Gold) did jump very much higher overnight, so we’re seeing some selling into that rally right now," Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler said. "We’re getting up towards the $1,130 level and there’s some fairly significant technical resistance once we get up to $1,136."

The threat of rising US interest rates was a key factor driving gold down 10% last year, but expectations of the pace of hikes were rolled back this month as financial markets were hit by a wave of volatility.

That has helped gold rise 5% in January so far.

"If investor sentiment deteriorates, lower yielding assets are in demand, gold being one of them," ABN Amro said in a report.

Higher rates lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

The dollar was a touch lower against the euro on Thursday, but stock markets, which had been weak in Europe, opened higher in the US after a sharp rally in oil prices.

Oil soared after a Russian official said Saudi Arabia has proposed that oil-producing countries cut production by up to 5% each. The comments sent Brent crude up more than 8%, and US crude up nearly 8%. Among other precious metals, silver was down 1.7% to $14.23 and platinum was down 1.2% at $869.36. Palladium was down 0.2% at $494.75.

The official London benchmark price for silver settled on Thursday more than 80c below the spot price.