Wednesday, 26 April, 2017

Gold hits 5-month high on rising geopolitical tensions

Gold hits five-month high on rising geopolitical tensions			business			Updated Gold hits five-month high on rising geopolitical tensions business Updated
Debra Rodriguez | 20 April, 2017, 06:29

Gold held steady on Wednesday, supported by a weaker dollar, geopolitical concerns about North Korea and nervousness ahead of the French presidential election.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot index fell 0.4 percent and has sunk about 4.8 percent from a high reached in January.

"As (gold) didn't manage to get through $US1,300 and due to light volumes during (holiday-related) European hours, gold consolidated until weaker US economic data gave the yellow metal another push", said Giovanni Staunovo, commodity analyst for UBS Wealth Management.

Data showing China's economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter helped offset the soft USA figures.

The Atlanta and New York Federal Reserve banks downgraded their outlook for USA economic growth for the first quarter after disappointing data on retail sales and consumer prices in March.

Silver for May delivery fell 11 cents, or 0.60 percent, to close at 18.162 dollars per ounce.

The dollar dipped fractionally versus the yen, with worries that U.S. currency manipulation complaints could touch Japan, overshadowing comments by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that a strong dollar was positive in the long term.

Meanwhile, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was at around at 2.21%, after falling to a low of 2.165% Tuesday, the lowest since November 10.

US Vice President Mike Pence said Washington would work with its allies and China to put economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea but added America would defeat any attack with an "overwhelming response". USA gold futures were 0.9pc lower at $1,282.

Investors are also carefully monitoring statements made by U.S. Federal Reserve members in anticipation of the next possible rate hike.

The euro stood at $1.0603, little moved so far, and not far from a one-month low of $1.0570 touched last Monday, with focus on the French presidential election.

Still, tensions over North Korea and looming French and United Kingdom elections that hold implications for the European economy supported some level of investor demand for safe-haven precious metals, keeping gold prices just below the November highs touched Monday.

President Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in a referendum on Sunday to grant him sweeping powers in the biggest overhaul of modern Turkish politics, but opponents said the vote was marred by irregularities and they would challenge its result.

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