September 27, 2018 / 10:55 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold tumbles 1 percent as dollar soars on strong U.S. data

* Gold falls 1 percent

* Dollar set for biggest one-day gain in five weeks

* Data underscores strength of U.S. economy

* Fed indicates five more rate rises through 2020 (Updates prices, headline; adds comment, second byline, NEW YORK to dateline)

By Renita D. Young and Peter Hobson

NEW YORK/LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell 1 percent on Thursday and broke below their recent trading range around $1,190-$1,210 an ounce after the U.S. dollar surged, making bullion more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

The greenback was on track for its biggest one-day gain in over a month after data underlined the strength of the U.S. economy and Italian political turmoil weakened the euro.

Spot gold declined 0.8 percent to $1,184.54 an ounce by 1:36 p.m. EDT (1736 GMT) after hitting its lowest since Aug. 24 at $1,186.78. It was nearing August’s 19-month low of $1,159.96.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled down $11.70 per ounce, or 1 percent, at $1,187.40.

The data came a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates and said it planned four more increases by the end of 2019 and another in 2020.

U.S. rate rises tend to boost the dollar and hurt gold prices. They also push U.S. bond yields higher, reducing the attraction of non-yielding bullion.

“The data confirms that the U.S. economy is not about to fall off a cliff and that adds credence to the point that interest rates have to go higher,” Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said.

“With stock markets trading up and the dollar trading up, there’s no room for gold.”

The move below $1,190 triggered some pre-set sell orders, Hansen added. “There’s a risk that momentum players will take it even lower.”

Gold is down more than 13 percent from an April high, largely because of the stronger dollar, which has been boosted by a vibrant U.S. economy and fears of a global trade war. Investors have bought the greenback instead of gold as a safe investment.

But prices may be close to bottom, said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Menke.

Investors have largely priced in rate rises, and speculators who have built the largest net short position on record in Comex gold have little room to drive gold further down by expanding bets on lower prices, Menke said.

Palladium increased 1.1 percent to $1,078.60 an ounce after touching an eight-month high of $1,084.10. The metal trended higher with industrial demand, that rose on a strong U.S. economic outlook, said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank.

“The positive spin on the economy (from Fed Chair Jerome Powell) and feelings that the trade tension is not impacting the economy yet certainly helped,” Gaffney said.

Silver fell 0.2 percent to $14.26 an ounce and platinum declined 1.2 percent at $811. (Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Dale Hudson, David Goodman and Andrea Ricci)

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