January 7, 2020 / 1:56 AM / 16 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold slips from near 7-year high as U.S.-Iran tensions ease

    Jan 7 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched lower on Tuesday, a day
after hitting their highest in nearly seven years, with a lack
of immediate escalation between the United States and Iran
denting bullion's safe-haven appeal. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        fell 0.2% to $1,562.81 per ounce by 0107
GMT. In the previous session, prices hit their highest since
April 2013 at $1,582.59. U.S. gold futures        fell 0.2% to
$1,566.00. 
    * Palladium        hit an all-time peak of $2,032.94 an
ounce earlier in the session on supply concerns, and was last
down 0.1% at $2,028.90. 
    * Asian shares rebounded after there was no further
escalation in Middle East tensions.             
    * Providing limited support to gold, Defense Secretary Mark
Esper said on Monday the United States has no plans to pull its
troops out of Iraq, following reports of an American military
letter informing Iraq officials about the repositioning of
troops in preparation to leave the country.             
    * U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will give a speech next
Monday laying out the government's policy on Iran, a White House
official said, after the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general
sparked protests across the Middle Eastern nation.              
    * Tanzania's earnings from gold exports rose 42%
year-on-year in the year to November, helped by higher prices
and volumes shipped, the central bank said on Monday.
            
    * Goldman Sachs on Monday maintained its three-, six- and
12-month forecast for gold at $1,600 per ounce, contending
safe-haven bullion to be a better hedge than oil during phases
of geopolitical uncertainty.             
    * The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR
Gold Trust      , said its holdings rose 0.10% to 896.18 tonnes
on Monday from 895.30 tonnes on Friday.          
    * Hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish
positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to Dec.
31, data showed on Monday.        
    * Elsewhere, silver        slipped 0.5% to $18.06 per ounce,
while platinum        was flat at $962.68.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
1000   EU    HICP Flash YY          Dec
1000   EU    HICP-X F&E Flash YY    Dec
1330   US    International Trade    Nov
1500   US    Factory Orders MM      Nov
1500   US    ISM N-Mfg PMI          Dec

 (Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)
  
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