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Gold below 3-week peak as dollar recovers; Trump policy in focus

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,246.51 per ounce at 0353 GMT. On Wednesday, it touched its strongest since Feb. 28 at $1,251.26.

Gold prices on Thursday held below a 3-week peak hit in the prior session, as the dollar recovered from seven-week lows and markets looked to see if U.S. President Donald Trump could push through a healthcare bill.

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,246.51 per ounce at 0353 GMT. On Wednesday, it touched its strongest since Feb. 28 at $1,251.26.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at $1,246.5.

"There is a strong technical resistance at $1,250 and that seems to have been felt strongly at this juncture," OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan said.

Spot gold may retrace to a support at $1,237 per ounce, following its failure to break a resistance zone of $1,247-$1,254, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

However, Gan pointed to the impact of sustained political issues in Europe and the United States.

"This kind of uncertainity does lift gold prices," he said.

The immediate focus is on whether Trump can gather enough support in a vote as early as Thursday to pass a bill to roll back Obamacare, a first major test of his legislative ability and whether he can keep his promises to business.

Trump and House of Representatives leaders were pushing on Wednesday for votes for their plan, and said they were making progress in their efforts to win over conservative Republicans who have demanded changes to the legislation.

However, a rough ride for the healthcare plan could affect Trump's efforts to cut taxes and and boost infrastructure, and drive more investors into gold as a safe-haven investment if stock markets fall, analysts and traders said.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was up 0.1 percent at 99.782. It fell to a near seven-week low of 99.547 on Wednesday.

Spot silver rose 0.2 percent to $17.53.

Platinum was up 0.1 percent to $959.49 per ounce, while palladium edged up 0.1 percent to $787. The metal hit over one-month highs at $794.30 in the prior session.
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