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PRECIOUS-Gold bounces off lows hit after Macron wins French election
May 8, 2017 / 10:31 AM / 7 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold bounces off lows hit after Macron wins French election

    * Gold edges up from seven-week low hit earlier in session
    * Euro reverses post-French election gains on profit taking
    * Bullish COMEX gold, silver positions cut

 (Updates prices; adds comment, second byline, NEW YORK
dateline)
    By Marcy Nicholson and Maytaal Angel
    NEW YORK/LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) - Gold prices bounced off a
seven-week low on Monday as safe haven demand ebbed away
following pro-EU candidate Emmanuel Macron's victory in the
French presidential election. 
    Spot gold        steadied after touching 1,224.86 an ounce,
its lowest since March 17 and just above the 100-day moving
average. By 2:24 p.m. EDT (1824 GMT), it was up 0.01 percent at
$1,227.77. 
    U.S. gold futures         settled up 0.02 percent at
$1,227.10.
    The precious metal, seen as a safe haven, fell 3.2 percent
last week, its biggest percentage fall since November as polls
indicated a landslide for Macron. 
    "The result of (the French) election was pretty well
forecast ... Last week we had some sizeable (long) liquidation
in gold and physical demand remains pretty good right now ...
I'm not surprised to see gold supported around current levels,"
ICBC Standard Bank analyst Tom Kendall said.
    The removal of the political risk associated with Macron's
rival Marine Le Pen - who had vowed to take France out of the
euro - leaves investors refocusing on the pace of monetary
policy normalization in Europe and the United States.
           
    The European Central Bank is expected to have more room to
tighten policy as the euro zone's economic recovery gathers
pace.
    In the United States, data out on Friday showed the
unemployment rate dropped to near a 10-year low, which is seen
as reinforcing the case for a U.S. interest rate hike next
month.             
    Higher rates dent demand for non-interest bearing gold. At
the same time, a stronger dollar makes dollar-priced gold
costlier for non-U.S. investors.
    The economy's weak performance at the start of the year
should slow Federal Reserve plans for further rate increases,
now broadly expected to resume at the central bank's June
meeting, St. Louis Federal Reserve bank president James Bullard
said.             
    While money managers cut their net-long position in COMEX
gold for the first time in seven weeks in the week to May 2,
they also sharply reduced their bullish stance in silver by
25,602 lots to the lowest since January, U.S. government data
showed late Friday.             
    The move came as silver prices fell to technically oversold
levels.
    "After the recent sell-off ... the bears remain in power.
This dictates that longs should be very cautious," said Miguel
Perez-Santalla, vice president of Heraeus Metal Management in
New York.
    Spot silver        dipped 0.1 percent to $16.28 an ounce.
    Platinum        was 0.6 percent higher at $917 while
palladium        fell 0.4 percent to $807.97.

 (Additional reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by
Jane Merriman and Mark Potter)
  

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