September 26, 2017 / 3:59 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady near 1-wk high on North Korea worries

    * Equities slip as N.Korea claims Trump tweet 'declaration
of war'
    * Markets await Fed Yellen's speech at 1645 GMT
    * Spot gold may test support at $1,252/oz in 3 months

 (Adds detail, updates prices)
    By Nithin ThomasPrasad
    Sept 26 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Tuesday after hitting
its highest in about a week, supported by demand for safe-haven
investments amid lingering tensions over the Korean peninsula.
    Spot gold        was nearly unchanged at $1,310.01 per ounce
at 0636 GMT, after earlier marking its highest since Sept. 20 at
$1,313.54. It gained over 1 percent in the previous session.
     U.S. gold futures         for December delivery rose 0.2
percent to $1,313.70 per ounce.
    "The sharp sell-out in the equity market and rising risk
aversion (are driving up gold prices)," said Richard Xu, a fund
manager at China's biggest gold exchange-traded fund, HuaAn
   North Korea's foreign minister said on Monday that a weekend
tweet by President Donald Trump counted as a declaration of war
on North Korea.                 
   "Gold will continue to be headline-driven in the short term,"
said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with OANDA.
    Gold is used as an alternative investment during times of
political and financial uncertainty. 
     Asian shares withered and the yen firmed against the
backdrop of rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and as
investors awaited fresh signals about the U.S. monetary policy
    Investors awaited a speech on "inflation, uncertainty, and
monetary policy" by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, in
Cleveland at 1645 GMT.
    On Monday, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said
there was no need for the Fed to raise interest rates further as
he sees no evidence recent weak inflation data is set to
    "Chinese real estate developers getting hit pretty badly (on
Monday) because of the curbing of property sales and the
downgrade of China's sovereign rating are also causing people to
rethink their risky positions," said Xu at HuaAn Gold. 
    China and Hong Kong shares fell on Monday, led by property
stocks after some cities imposed new housing controls to hose
down an overheated market. They were also weighed down by
Standard & Poor's downgrade of China's sovereign credit rating
last week.              
    Spot gold may test support at $1,252 in three months, a
break below which could trigger a further drop towards the next
support level at $1,174, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao
    Meanwhile, silver        was little changed at $17.18 per
ounce. In the previous session, prices rose over 1 percent to
register their biggest intra-day percentage gain since Sept. 7.
    Platinum        climbed 0.4 percent to $943.70 per ounce,
after also registering its biggest one-day percentage gain since
Sept. 7 in the previous session.
    Palladium        rose 0.8 percent to $917.90 per ounce.

 (Reporting by Nithin Prasad and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru;
Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)
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