November 1, 2018 / 11:26 AM / 18 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rallies as dollar retreats from multi-month highs

* Gold jumps after three sessions of losses

* Dollar retreats from 16-month highs

* Platinum hits highest since July 9 (Updates prices)

By Swati Verma

BENGALURU, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Gold rose more than 1 percent on Thursday, rebounding from a three-week low touched in the previous session, and spurred by the dollar’s retreat from multi-month highs.

After falling for three days, spot gold gained 1.2 percent at $1,229.21 per ounce by 1358 GMT. U.S. gold futures were up 1.3 percent at $1,231.30 an ounce.

The dollar index, which measures the U.S. unit against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.7 percent, dropping from a 16-month high hit in the previous session on the back of continued U.S. economic strength.

Gold had hit its lowest since Oct. 11 on Wednesday at $1,211.52 per ounce.

“Although a rally is not yet foreseeable, $1,250 will be the level to watch for should the dollar weaken further or equities disappoint,” Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said.

Global stocks started the new month on firmer ground after a brutal October, while sterling rallied on reports that Britain and the European Union are close to a post-Brexit deal on financial services.

Attention is turning to the U.S. congressional elections on Nov. 6, which will determine whether the Republican or Democratic party controls the U.S. Congress, with some predicting increased market volatility on the outcome.

Friday’s non-farm payrolls data, a key indicator of the strength of the U.S. economy, will also be watched for further clues on the pace of Federal Reserve interest rate increases.

Higher U.S. interest rates raise the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold.

“Precious metals are seeing buying interest as the U.S. dollar index is posting sharp losses today,” Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said in a note.

Global gold demand rose slightly in the third quarter from a year before as resurgent buying from central banks and retail consumers balanced huge outflows from exchange-traded funds, the World Gold Council said.

Holdings of the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, fell 0.12 percent to 754.06 tonnes on Wednesday.

Among other precious metals, platinum climbed 2.3 percent to $854.80 per ounce, having touched its highest since July 9 at $855.40 earlier in the session.

Silver jumped 2.8 percent to $14.61 per ounce, while palladium rose 1.4 percent to $1,093.70. (Reporting by Swati Verma and Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey and Dale Hudson)

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