June 29, 2018 / 5:17 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold gains as dollar dips, but set for worst month since Nov 2016

    * Spot gold on track for third weekly fall
    * Gold down 5.5 pct this qtr, worst since qtr ended Dec 2016
    * Platinum hits fresh 2-1/2-year lows

 (Adds trader comments; updates prices)
    By Karen Rodrigues
    BENGALURU, June 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday
after hitting a more than six-month low in the previous session
as the dollar retreated from recent highs amid a rising euro,
but the yellow metal looked set to post its sharpest monthly
fall in 19 months. 
    Spot gold        was 0.3 percent higher at $1,250.98 an
ounce, as of 0649 GMT. On Thursday, it touched $1,245.32, its
lowest since Dec. 13, 2017.
    The dollar is still strong, so we expect gold prices to head
down, said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver
Central in Singapore.
    "Gold is weak now and people are not looking to invest at
this point of time," he said.
    The yellow metal was on track for a third straight weekly
decline, having slipped 1.4 percent so far this week. Spot gold
was down about 3.6 percent for the month, heading for its
biggest monthly drop since November 2016.
    U.S. gold futures         were up 0.1 percent at $1,252.50
an ounce.
    The euro        jumped more than a half cent after European
Union leaders reached an agreement on migration, a thorny issue
that has threatened EU unity and the fate of German Chancellor
Angela Merkel.             
    A stronger euro potentially boosts demand for gold by making
dollar-priced bullion cheaper for European investors.
    The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies
       was down 0.6 percent at 94.856, after having risen to
about one-year high on Thursday. But the index was up 5.4
percent this quarter, supported mainly by rising U.S. interest
rates and an improving U.S. economy.
    "There is feeling in some quarters that we may be nearing
the bottom of this recent downturn," MKS PAMP Group trader Tim
Brown wrote in a note.
    Support-wise, gold appears fairly well bid around
$1,245-$1,248 and there should be support at $1,237 and below
that, Brown said. 
    The U.S. economy slowed more than previously estimated in
the first quarter amid the weakest consumer spending in nearly
five years, but growth appears to have since regained momentum
on the back of a robust labor market and tax cuts.             
    However, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard on Thursday
said tight U.S. labor markets could bring unemployment rates for
blacks and Hispanics more in line with that of whites, another
reason for the Federal Reserve to stop raising interest rates.
            
    In other precious metals, spot silver        gained about 1
percent to $16.05 an ounce. It was heading for its biggest
weekly decline since the week ended April 27, down 2 percent for
the week.
    Palladium        rose 0.6 percent to $949.82 an ounce.
    Platinum        was up 0.3 percent at $850 per ounce. It hit
its lowest since January 2016 at $837.30 earlier in the session.
It was down 9 percent for the quarter, its worst since the
quarter ended December 2016.

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas
Mohan and Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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