PRECIOUS-Gold hovers near 5-week low; political tensions support

    * Gold hits lowest since May 17
    * Spot gold may break resistance at $1,248 per ounce -

 (Updates prices, adds quote)
    By Nithin ThomasPrasad
    BENGALURU, June 20 (Reuters) - Gold inched higher on
Tuesday, supported by global political uncertainties, after
touching a five-week low earlier in the session as a key U.S.
Federal Reserve official reaffirmed the central bank's hawkish
stance on interest rate hikes.
    Risk aversion due to Brexit, concerns over U.S. President
Donald Trump's ability to carry out financial reforms, election
results in Europe and Middle East turmoil have provided some
support for gold, said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's
Wing Fung Financial Group.
    "We can see things are getting more complicated and
investors have to take some time to put things into context," To
    Spot gold        was up 0.3 percent at $1,246.82 per ounce,
as of 0809 GMT. U.S. gold futures         rose 0.1 percent to
$1,247.8 per ounce. 
    Spot prices touched a low of $1,242.61 an ounce early in the
session, the weakest since May 17, after New York Fed President
William Dudley reinforced that recent weak data is unlikely to
derail plans to keep raising interest rates.                
    Gold is used as an alternative investment during times of
political and financial uncertainty. 
    British and EU Brexit negotiators agreed how to organize
talks on Britain's divorce at a first meeting in Brussels on
Monday, where both sides stressed goodwill but also the huge
complexity and tight deadline.                 
    Late Monday, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said it may
be worthwhile for the U.S. central bank to wait until year-end
to decide whether to raise rates again and that it should move
slowly to raise them and trim its massive bond portfolio.
    "Mixed U.S dollar trade provided some respite for gold
during Asian trade on Tuesday, with modest physical interest out
of the region evident underneath $1,250, however, not to the
extent we expected we would see," MKS PAMP trader Sam Laughlin
said in a note.
    The dollar index        was last unchanged at 97.551 against
a basket of currencies.   
    Spot gold may break a resistance at $1,248 per ounce and
rise towards the next resistance at $1,251, as it failed to
break a support at $1,243, according to Reuters technical
analyst Wang Tao.                 
    After having broken through the 100-day moving average, the
200-day moving average could be the next significant support for
gold, said OANDA analyst Jeffrey Halley.   
    "A daily close below here suggests we could target the May
    Among other metals, spot palladium        climbed 0.5
percent to $864.50 per ounce, and platinum        gained 0.6
percent to $927.60 per ounce.
    Silver        edged up 0.8 percent to $16.58 per ounce. In
the previous session, it touched $16.44, its weakest since May

 (Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru;
Editing by Richard Pullin and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)