June 15, 2017 / 4:47 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold gains as stocks fall; weak U.S data spurs safe-haven demand

    * Weaker U.S. retail sales, consumer inflation hurt dollar
    * Report of Trump probe hits risk sentiment

 (Updates prices)
    By Nithin ThomasPrasad
    BENGALURU, June 15 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Thursday
from a near three-week low hit in the previous session,
supported by softer U.S. economic data and a fall in Asian
shares following a report that President Donald Trump was being
probed for possible obstruction of justice.
    Weaker U.S. retail and inflation data overshadowed a rate
hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday, raising doubts
about the improvement in the economy and pressurizing the
dollar.             
    "Although the Fed is saying the data is transitory, the
market is struggling to align with this view," said Jeffrey
Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA. 
    "Thus we are seeing the U.S. dollar under pressure which has
been positive for gold in the short-term." 
    Spot gold        rose 0.2 percent to $1,262.86 per ounce by
0800 GMT. It hit a low of $1,256.65 in the previous session, its
weakest since May 26.
    U.S. gold futures         for August delivery fell 0.9
percent to $1,264.50 an ounce.   
    "We are looking for gold to hold support around USD $1,260,
with expectations that the recent soft U.S. data and ongoing
geopolitical concerns should be supportive," MKS PAMP trader Sam
Laughlin said in a note. 
    Risk sentiment was hit after Washington Post reported that
Trump is being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller
for possible obstruction of justice.                  
    As long as uneasiness around the Trump government among
speculators and investors exists, gold will hold up pretty well,
said Yuichi Ikemizu, Tokyo branch manager at ICBC Standard Bank.
  
    Gold considered a safe haven during times of political and
financial uncertainty.    
    "Spot gold was also supported by short-term interest in
physical gold in Asia, especially from Shanghai this morning," 
Halley said.
    In the wider markets, U.S. stock futures and Asian shares
slid on Thursday with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific
shares outside Japan                 dropping 0.7 percent.
    The dollar index        was little changed against a basket
of currencies on Thursday after having slid to its lowest since
November on Wednesday.      
    Among other precious metals, silver        rose 0.2 percent
to $16.91 per ounce after it snapped a five-session losing
streak and settled higher on Wednesday.    
    Palladium        fell 1.1 percent to $853.50 per ounce,
while Platinum        was down 0.6 percent at $929.50 per ounce
.   

 (Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru;
Editing by Richard Pullin and Vyas Mohan)
  

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