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PRECIOUS-Gold near 5-month high; poised for best week since June
April 14, 2017 / 6:08 AM / 8 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold near 5-month high; poised for best week since June

    * Investors wary of lingering geopolitical worries
    * SPDR Gold holdings up 0.8 pct on Thursday
    * Silver off 5-mth high hit in previous session

 (Adds comment, updates prices)
    By Swati Verma
    BENGALURU, April 14 (Reuters) - Gold on Friday hovered near
the 5-month high hit in the previous session and was set for its
biggest weekly percentage rise since June as a weaker dollar and
geopolitical worries over the Middle East and North Korea stoked
safe-haven demand.
    Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,286.25 per ounce
by 0820 GMT in thin trade due to a public holiday in many
    Bullion prices hit their highest since early November at
$1,288.64 an ounce the session before. The metal was on track
for its biggest weekly gain since early June, up about 2.6
percent this week.
    "Everyone is nervous about the (geo-political) situation at
the moment and nobody wants to sell gold, so it is pretty firm
this week," said Yuichi Ikemizu, head of commodity trading at
Standard Bank in Tokyo.
    "People do not want to hold any positions over the weekend
since many markets are closed."
    U.S. gold futures         were up 0.9 percent at $1,290.10.
    The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was down 0.1 percent at
    Gold, often seen as an alternative investment during times
of political and financial uncertainty, benefited from the
risk-averse sentiment in the market.
    "It's very hard to decide which direction gold will go right
now... if (U.S. President Donald) Trump is to perform some
military action against North Korea, gold will definitely reach
$1,300," said a trader with a Shanghai-based bullion bank.
    Trump said on Thursday that North Korea is a problem that
"will be taken care of", as China urged caution and speculation
rose that Pyongyang might be on the verge of a sixth nuclear
    The U.S. military said on Thursday that it dropped "the
mother of all bombs," the largest non-nuclear device it has ever
unleashed in combat, on a network of caves and tunnels used by
Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan.             
    The U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State on Thursday
denied a Syrian army report it had carried out an air strike
that had hit poison gas supplies belonging to IS and caused the
deaths of hundreds of people.             
    Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.77 percent to 848.92
tonnes on Thursday.          
    Among other precious metals, spot silver        was up 0.1
percent at $18.52 an ounce, after touching a five-month high of
$18.599 in the previous session. 
    Platinum        was up 0.2 percent at $971.15 and palladium
       was up 0.1 percent at $795.08.

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan
and Subhranshu Sahu)

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