August 18, 2017 / 4:42 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices rise for a third day, buoyed by geopolitical worries

    * Investors retreat from riskier assets
    * Spot gold may test resistance at $1,291/oz -technicals

 (Adds comment, updates prices)
    By Apeksha Nair
    BENGALURU, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Gold rose for a third day on
Friday amid weaker Asian stocks, with some investors gravitating
towards safe-haven assets on political uncertainty in the United
States and after a terrorist attack in Spain killed 13 people.  
     Spot gold        climbed 0.3 percent to $1,291.65 per ounce
by 0703 GMT, after climbing for two straight days. 
     U.S. gold futures         for December delivery were up 0.5
percent at $1,298.20 per ounce.
     Asian stock investors joined a global retreat from riskier
assets on Friday and the dollar wavered on growing doubts about
U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to fulfil his economic
     Markets were further shaken as Spain mounted a sweeping
anti-terror operation on Friday after a suspected Islamist
militant drove a van into crowds in Barcelona, killing 13 people
before fleeing.             
     "The risk factors, including the Trump administration,
geopolitical tensions and diplomatic crises, all are now in an
evolving state. I don't think they have been solved or
discounted yet," Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing
Fung Financial Group, said.
    There are increasing concerns around the Trump
administration's ability to push ahead with its policies
following the disbandment of two high-profile business advisory
councils over the president's remarks on violence in Virginia.
    "The ongoing discord coming out of Washington could prove
supportive for gold as well, as this could pressure the dollar
further just as the Fed is casting fresh doubts about its rate
timetable," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said.
    Policymakers in Europe and the U.S. expressed concerns about
unwinding monetary stimulus too soon.                           
    Gold is sensitive to rising interest rates because they push
up bond yields, increasing the opportunity cost of holding
non-yielding bullion, and tend to strengthen the dollar, in
which gold is priced.
    "Over the medium-term, gold is likely to continue trading in
the $1200 to $1300 range, with possible monetary tightening by
the Fed limiting the upside," Wing Fung's To said.
    Spot gold faces resistance at $1,291 per ounce and it may
hover below this level or retrace towards support at $1,271
again, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.             
    Among other precious metals, silver        climbed 0.4
percent to $17.07 per ounce, while platinum        was up 0.7
percent at $979.45 an ounce.
    Palladium        gained 0.1 percent to $927.10 an ounce,
after hitting its highest since February 2001 at $930.00 in the
previous session. The metal is on track to register a weekly
gain of about 4 percent.

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru;
Editing by Joseph Radford and Christian Schmollinger)
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