August 3, 2017 / 6:08 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices fall as investors turn to risk assets

    * Wall Street strength boosts risk appetite
    * Spot gold may retest support at $1,258 per ounce -
technicals
    * Palladium set to snap nine-session gaining streak

 (Updates prices)
    By Nithin ThomasPrasad
    Aug 3 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Thursday as the dollar
inched up from multi-month lows and as signs that the U.S.
economy was strengthening turned investor focus on to risk
assets.
    Spot gold        fell 0.5 percent to $1,260.36 per ounce as
of 0729 GMT after touching $1,258.20 earlier in the session, its
lowest in almost one week.
    U.S. gold futures         for December delivery fell 0.9
percent to $1,266.30 per ounce. 
    Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average        broke the
22,000-barrier for the first time in its 121-year history, and
is on track for a sixth straight record close. It has risen 11
percent in 2017.     
    The dollar, meanwhile, inched away from a 15-month low
versus a basket of currencies on Thursday.       
    "There's still ongoing optimism in the global market with
the Dow Jones Industrial Average at record highs," said OCBC
analyst Barnabas Gan.
    "I think the global economic strength we've seen, especially
from the U.S. numbers and the very strong equity prints last
night, were much more dominant in influencing (gold) prices than
(the ongoing) geopolitical concerns."
    U.S. inflation has been contained even as the country's
labour market appears to be in its best shape in many years,
with the jobless rate staying near a 17-year low.            
    On Wednesday, a report by a private payrolls processor
showed that U.S. private employers added 178,000 jobs in July,
below economists' expectations, although payroll gains in June
were revised up to 191,000 from an originally reported 158,000
increase.               
    "I think the markets are actually looking more closely at
the revised June figures in the ADP jobs data more than the
lower-than-expected July numbers," OCBC's Gan said.
    Gold's safe haven appeal is dampened when an economy shows
signs of strengthening, making investors turn towards riskier
assets such as equities.
    Global demand for gold fell 14 percent in the first half of
this year due mainly to a sharp decline in purchases by exchange
traded funds, the World Gold Council said.             
    Spot gold may retest a support at $1,258 per ounce, a break
below which could cause a loss to the next support at $1,247,
according to Reuters technical analyst, Wang Tao.             
    Silver        slipped 0.7 percent to $16.43 per ounce after
hitting its lowest in more than one week earlier in the day.
    Platinum        fell 0.2 percent to $940.50 per ounce after
rising to its highest since June 14 in the previous session.
    Palladium        was 0.6 percent lower at $889.50 per ounce,
on track to break a nine-session gaining streak.    

 (Reporting by Nithin Prasad and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru;
Editing by Joseph Radford and Biju Dwarakanath)
  

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