April 13, 2017 / 1:21 AM / 9 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold hits 5-mth high on weaker dollar, geopolitical tensions

    April 13 (Reuters) - Gold hit a five-month peak on Thursday
as the U.S. dollar slid after President Donald Trump said he
preferred lower interest rates with the greenback "too strong",
and amid rising tensions over U.S. relations with Russia and
North Korea.
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1 percent at $1,286.80 per ounce
by 0100 GMT, after hitting its strongest since Nov.10 at
    * U.S. gold futures         edged up 0.8 percent to
    * The U.S. dollar took a heavy hit after President Donald
Trump told the Wall Street Journal the dollar "is getting too
strong" and that he would prefer the Federal Reserve to keep
interest rates low.             
    * Meanwhile, tensions continued over the United States'
relationship with Russia over Syria and in the Korean peninsula,
while worries about the upcoming French presidential election
also kept investors nervous.             
    * Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday trust
had eroded between the United States and Russia under President
Donald Trump as Moscow delivered an unusually hostile reception
to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a face-off over Syria.
    * In another possible setback to a thaw with Moscow, Trump
said on Wednesday that NATO is not obsolete, as he had declared
during the election campaign last year. But he told a news
conference at the White House with NATO Secretary General Jens
Stoltenberg that alliance members still need to pay their fair
share for the European security umbrella.             
    * Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday stressed the
need for a peaceful solution for the Korean peninsula on a call
with U.S President Donald Trump.             
    * U.S. import prices recorded their biggest drop in seven
months in March as the cost of petroleum declined, but the
underlying trend pointed to a moderate rise in imported
inflation as the dollar's rally fades.             
    * Barrick Gold         ,         must take steps to
safeguard investor confidence by ensuring there are no more
operating mishaps at its mines after a third incident in 18
months at its big Argentina mine, analysts said.             
    * Goldman Sachs on Wednesday maintained its near-term target
for gold at $1,200 per ounce and 12-month target at $1,250 per

    1230  U.S.    Initial Jobless Claims weekly 
    1230  U.S.    PPI Final Demand   Mar 
    1400  U.S.    U Mich Sentiment Prelim   Apr
    1430  U.S.    ECRI Weekly index 

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in BENGALURU; Editing by
Kenneth Maxwell)
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