June 8, 2017 / 8:26 PM / 2 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold falls for second day after Comey testimony, ECB decision

    * Comey's testimony seen as having no major surprises
    * Investors to play catch-up, allocations to gold still
small -UBS
    * ECB keeps money taps open, drops reference to rate cuts

 (Updates with Comey testimony, comments, adds NEW YORK
    By Devika  Krishna Kumar and Eric Onstad
    NEW YORK/LONDON, June 8 (Reuters) - Gold prices extended
losses into a second session on Thursday as the dollar
strengthened and as investors viewed the testimony from former
U.S. FBI director James Comey as containing no significant
    Investors still await the outcome of Britain's national
election and opinion polls on the eve of the election showed
Theresa May's Conservative Party leading between 5 and 12
percentage points over the main opposition Labour Party,
suggesting she would increase her majority.             
    Earlier in the session, the euro        declined after the
European Central Bank cut its forecasts for inflation and said
that policymakers had not discussed scaling back its massive
bond-buying programme.                          
    A weaker euro versus the dollar erodes the buying power of
euro zone investors for gold, which is priced in the U.S.
    Spot gold        was down 0.7 percent at $1,277.95 an ounce
by 4:04 p.m. EDT (2004 GMT). U.S. gold futures         for
August delivery shed 1.1 percent to settle at $1,279.50.    
    Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee he believed
President Donald Trump had directed him to drop a Federal Bureau
of Investigation probe into former national security adviser
Michael Flynn as part of the broader Russia investigation.
However, he did not make any major new revelations about alleged
links between Trump or his associates and Russia.              
    "One of the big drivers behind gold's move is the dollar
catching a little bit of its footing ... if you look at the way
gold is trading, until it breaks out of that recent trend around
the $1,270-$1,275 area and get back into $1,260s it's hard to be
bearish," said Joshua Graves, markets strategist at RJO Futures.
    "I think the expectation going into the trade today was that
gold could catch a bid with the Comey testimony and the
uncertainty of the ECB meeting, so if you look at where gold is
trending in the future, I think we will we see a run back to
that $1,300 level. There just might need to be more geopolitical
    Some investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve policy
meeting next week where a rate hike is widely expected. 
    Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the
opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion,
while boosting the dollar.
    UBS strategist Joni Teves, however, said that a growing list
of global uncertainties along with macro forces are expected to
push gold higher, so any dips would be an opportunity to build
or add to positions. 
    "We think that investor allocations to gold remain small
compared with other assets. An extension of gold's gains up
ahead raises the risk that many would have to play catch-up,"
she said in a note. 
    In other precious metals, palladium        climbed 2.5
percent to $855.22 an ounce. In the previous session it hit its
highest in nearly three years but shed its early gains to end
2.3 percent lower.     
    Commerzbank technical analyst Karen Jones advised bullish
investors to be wary of the palladium market.
    "It will shortly encounter the 16-year resistance line at
$867/68 and, with a 13 count on the daily chart, we would
tighten up stops (on long positions) considerably," she said in
a note.
    Platinum        fell 0.4 percent to $938, while silver
       lost 1 percent to $17.38.  

 (Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala and Koustav Samanta
in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman and Lisa Shumaker)
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