June 5, 2018 / 4:35 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady on rising risk appetite amid U.S. rate-hike prospects

    * Dollar near two-week high vs yen
    * Spot gold targets low of $1,281.76/oz -technicals
    * Palladium off six week highs hit on Monday

 (Updates prices)
    By Karen Rodrigues
    BENGALURU, June 5 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little
changed on Tuesday, after closing lower in three previous
sessions, as investors opted for riskier assets amid increasing
prospects of a U.S. interest rate hike following strong economic
    Spot gold        was flat at $1,291.51 per ounce by 0644
    U.S. gold futures         for August delivery were down 0.1
percent at $1,295.60 per ounce.
    "There is lack of interest in gold. It is more interesting
for equities and people are making profit there, so nobody wants
to trade in gold for the time being," said Ronald Leung, chief
dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
    Wall Street's three major indexes rose on Monday, pushing
the Nasdaq to a record closing high as investors bet on a
continuation of strong economic growth.                 
    The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1 percent at
94.067. The U.S. dollar rose to 110 yen       , the highest
since May 24.       
    "The recent strength in the U.S. dollar amid positive
economic data has kept investor demand (for gold) subdued," ANZ
said in a note.
    The stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data released on
Friday, fuelled expectations that the Federal Reserve would
raise interest rates at its policy meeting starting on June 12.
    Higher interest rates boost the dollar, making
dollar-denominated gold more expensive for buyers using other
currencies, and they reduce investor interest in non-yielding
    "Gold prices are moving in a very tight range. The upside
will be between $1,297-$1,298 as the market seems to be waiting
for U.S. and North Korean leaders to meet and for the U.S.
interest rates to go up, which is all happening next week,"
Leung added.
    Spot gold is still targeting the May 21 low of $1,281.76 per
ounce, as its bounce from this level has completed, according to
Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.         
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is preparing for a
high-stakes summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore
on June 12.
    Meanwhile, concerns about global trade lingered following
United States imposing metal tariffs on Mexico, Canada and the
European Union last week.             
    "The tariff picture continues to remain quite unsettled, but
somewhat surprisingly, is not causing much angst for the various
markets ... For now, we remain in a wait-and-see mode on gold,
as investors mull which way to take the complex," INTL FCStone
analyst Edward Meir said in a note.
    In other precious markets, silver        rose 0.1 percent to
$16.38 an ounce. 
    Platinum        fell 0.5 percent at $896 an ounce. It
earlier hit a low of $891.25, the lowest since May 21.
    Palladium        was 0.7 percent lower at $986.47 per ounce.
The metal rose to a six-week high of $1,010.50 in the previous

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues and Swati Verma in Bengaluru;
Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Gopakumar Warrier)
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