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Gold jumps back to session tops, around $1296 level

   •  Retracing US bond yields lending some support.
   •  USD strength and risk-on mood cap gains.
   •  Powell's & Mnuchin eyed for directional impetus.

Gold reversed an early dip to $1292 area and spiked back to the top end of its daily trading range during the early NA session. 

The latest leg of up-move lacked any major fundamental catalyst and could be attributed to retracing US Treasury bond yields, which tends to underpin demand for the non-yielding commodity.

Meanwhile, a follow-through recovery witnessed around the key US Dollar Index, despite weaker US trade balance and wholesale inventories data, kept a lid on any additional up-move for dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

Moreover, the prevalent positive trading sentiment around equity markets also did little to revive the precious metal's safe-haven demand and further contributed towards capping gains.

Investors' focus on Tuesday would remain glued to the Fed Chair Designate Jerome Powell's testimony before the Senate Committee and the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's scheduled speech. 

Against the backdrop of uncertainty over the long-awaited US tax reform bill and concerns over the pace of Fed rate hike move post-December, today's key speeches would help investors determine the next leg of directional move for the yellow metal.

Technical levels to watch

Bulls would be eyeing for a clear break through $1299-$1300 barrier, above which the bullish momentum is likely to get extended towards Oct. monthly highs resistance near $1306 level en-route $1310-12 supply zone.

On the flip side, $1292 level now seems to have emerged as immediate support, which if broken could accelerate the slide back towards 100-day SMA support near the $1284 region.

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