February 9, 2017 / 1:16 AM / 7 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold off 3-month highs; political uncertainty provides support

    Feb 9 (Reuters) - Gold slipped from 3-month highs on
Thursday on profit taking, but political risks from elections in
Europe and worries over U.S. President Donald Trump's policies
supported safe haven demand for bullion.
        
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        dipped 0.2 percent to $1,238.90 per ounce
at 0054 GMT. On Wednesday, the metal touched its highest since
Nov. 11 at $1,244.67.
    * U.S. gold futures         rose 0.1 percent to $1,241 an
ounce.
    * Investors are concerned about the strong showing in the
French presidential race of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen,
who has promised to take France out of the euro zone and to hold
a referendum on European Union membership.
    * Controversy over U.S. President Donald Trump's temporary
travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries has
recently boosted gold as a safe-haven asset.             
    * President Trump is planning to issue a directive targeting
a controversial Dodd-Frank rule that requires companies to
disclose whether their products contain "conflict minerals" from
a war-torn part of Africa, sources familiar with the
administration's thinking.             
    * U.S. consumers allocated the smallest amount of their
annual household expenditure in 60 years to energy last year as
electricity, gasoline and natural gas prices fell and energy
efficiency improved, according to research.             
    * Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heads to Washington on Thursday
hoping promises to help create U.S. jobs and bolster Japan's
military will persuade President Trump to turn down the heat on
trade and currency and stand by the decades-old alliance.
            
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.68 percent to 832.58
tonnes on Wednesday from Tuesday. Holdings rose for a sixth
straight session.          
    * South African bullion producer Gold Fields          is
gearing up for an operation to capture and relocate a population
of critically endangered chinchillas living around its Chilean
mining project.             
        
      DATA AHEAD (GMT)    
      0700  Germany   Trade data              Dec 
      1330  US        Jobless claims          weekly 
      1500  US        Wholesale inventories   Dec 

 (Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by
Richard Pullin)
  

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