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PRECIOUS-Gold holds steady on safe-haven demand, weaker dollar
March 6, 2017 / 3:19 AM / 9 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds steady on safe-haven demand, weaker dollar

    * Spot gold may revisit low of $1,222.51/oz- technicals
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust down 0.56 pct on Friday
    * Specs raise net longs in COMEX gold to highest in over 3

 (Updates prices, adds details, comments)
    By Arpan Varghese
    March 6 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed on Monday,
supported by safe haven interest amid rising geopolitical
tensions over North Korea and a weaker dollar.
    Investors are closely watching developments after the
reclusive state fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off
Japan's northwest coast, days after it promised retaliation over
U.S.-South Korean military drills.             
    "There is still plenty of critical uncertainty supporting
safe-haven buying and the news out of North Korea certainly has
seen that side of the market quite active again," said ANZ
analyst Daniel Hynes.
    Spot gold        edged down 0.1 percent to $1,233.18 per
ounce at 0611 GMT. The metal hit $1,222.51, the lowest since
Feb. 15, in the previous session on signals of a hike in U.S.
interest rates this month.
    U.S. gold futures         rose 0.6 percent, to $1,233.2.
    The dollar slipped in Asian trading on Monday, as investors
locked in gains after its rise last week on growing expectations
of a U.S. interest rate hike. The dollar index        was down
0.1 percent to 101.46.              
    U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen capped off a
seemingly coordinated push from the central bank when she
cemented the view that the Fed will raise rates at its next
meeting on March 14-15, and likely be able to move faster after
that than it has in years.             
    "We are fairly neutral on the outlook for gold this week.
Unless we see any unexpected commentary around that (interest
rates) this week, that is pretty much built into the price now,"
Hynes said.
    Spot gold may revisit its March 3 low of $1,222.51 per
ounce, as its drop from the Feb. 27 high of $1,263.80 has not
completed, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
    Meanwhile, hedge funds and money managers boosted their net
long position in COMEX gold to the highest in over three months
in the week to Feb. 28, data showed on Friday.             
    However, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world's
largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.56 percent to
840.58 tonnes on Friday.          
    "If you look purely at a fundamental standpoint, the funds
are just playing the markets as they see it," said Spencer
Campbell, general manager with Kaloti Precious Metals in
    "The recent sentiment going into any discussion around
interest rate movements is that they are just selling at the
    In other precious metals, spot silver        fell 0.7
percent to $17.83 per ounce, while platinum        inched lower
by 0.2 percent, to $991.60.
    Palladium        was up 0.5 percent at $775.40. The metal
hit $752.72, the lowest since Feb. 6 in the previous session.

 (Reporting by Arphan Varghese; Additional reporting by Nallur
Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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