By Katherine Dunn

Gold prices approached a one-month high on Thursday, as a weaker dollar helped the metal regain momentum following a swift selloff late last year.

Gold for February delivery was recently up 1.1% at $1,178.60 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Prices for the metal are up more than 2% since the beginning of the year, after a swift decline following the U.S. election in November nearly wiped out 2016's gains.

The WSJ Dollar Index fell 0.5% Thursday. A weaker dollar typically helps gold prices because it makes the metal more affordable for investors who hold other currencies.

"January is more often than not a positive month for gold and this may well happen again," said David Govett, head of precious metals at Marex Spectron in London. However, "we are governed by the greenback and this will dictate the direction regardless of sentiment and history."

Minutes from the Federal Reserve's December meeting, released Wednesday afternoon, which expressed "considerable uncertainty" about the impact a Donald Trump presidency would have on the American economy, also helped gold gain ground Thursday.

Investors are also regaining a taste for the metal as a hedge against "a lot of uncertainty," including the start of Donald Trump's presidency and uncertainty about the strength of Chinese growth, said Robin Bhar at Société Générale.

Meanwhile, physical demand for the metal is picking up ahead of Lunar New Year, which begins later this month, Mr. Bhar added. China, alongside India, is one of the world's biggest buyers of physical gold, particularly around holidays.

Looking forward, Friday will bring the U.S. jobs figures for December, which could provide further clues about the health of the American economy, and affect the strength of the dollar.

Silver for March delivery was recently up 0.6% at $16.55 a troy ounce. April platinum gained 2.6% to $971.50 a troy ounce, while March palladium rose 0.4% to $741.95 a troy ounce.

Ira Iosebashvili contributed to this article.

Write to Katherine Dunn at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 05, 2017 10:37 ET (15:37 GMT)

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