April 18, 2018 / 5:01 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold snaps three sessions of gains as dollar, equities edge up

    * Spot gold may retrace to $1,334/oz -technicals
    * Firm U.S. data helps, but lingering trade woes limit USD
gains

 (Adds comment, updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    BENGALURU, April 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on
Wednesday after rising for three  straight sessions as investors
opted for riskier assets, with the dollar holding its gains on
the back of upbeat U.S. economic data. 
    "There was a general increase in risk appetite, which
boosted equities ... Conversely, there was less demand for
safe-haven assets such as gold," said John Sharma, an economist
with National Australia Bank.
    Spot gold        was down 0.3 percent at $1,343.31 per ounce
at 0709 GMT, U.S. gold futures         for June delivery fell
0.2 percent to $1,346.30 per ounce.
    Gold prices had surged to $1,365.23 per ounce last week,
their highest since Jan. 25, on heightened tensions over Syria
and U.S. sanctions on Russia.
    "Historically, geopolitical tensions have a short-term
impact on price movement, but overall it is the economy that
determines prices," said Mark To, head of research at Hong
Kong's Wing Fung Financial Group.
    The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was up 0.2 percent at 89.657.
    The index touched a three-week low of 89.229 on Tuesday
before pulling back on stronger-than-expected March U.S. housing
starts and steady industrial production figures.       
            
    A stronger greenback makes dollar-priced gold costlier for
holders of other currencies.
    Asian shares inched up after Wall Street took heart from
upbeat corporate earnings.            
    The gold market has also seen some profit-booking from
recent peak levels, said Hareesh V, head of commodity research,
Geojit Financial Services.
    "Currently there has been no significant news update or
event from the global point of view, further prompting the mild
correction in prices," Hareesh said.
    Spot gold may retrace to a support level at $1,334 per ounce
because it failed to break resistance at $1,350, said Reuters
technical analyst Wang Tao.             
    Meanwhile, spot silver        climbed 0.2 percent to $16.78
per ounce, after touching a one-week high of $16.83 earlier in
the session.
    Platinum        advanced 0.5 percent to $941.10 per ounce.
Prices earlier marked a three-week high of $944.10. 
    Palladium        rose 0.1 percent to $1,010.47 per ounce.
    

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru
Editing by Eric Meijer and Joseph Radford)
  
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