August 1, 2017 / 4:14 AM / 3 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady near 7-week highs on struggling dollar

    * Dollar index clings above Monday's 15-month low
    * Spot gold set to break resistance at $1,271/oz- technicals

 (Adds comment, updates prices)
    By Nithin ThomasPrasad
    BENGALURU, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady near
seven-week highs early Tuesday, after registering their biggest
monthly gain in five in July, supported by a slump in the U.S.
dollar and political uncertainty.
    Spot gold        was nearly flat at $1,269.30 per ounce at
0358 GMT. It rose 2.2 percent last month, its biggest monthly
gain since February.    
    U.S. gold futures         for August delivery rose 0.2
percent to $1,269.00 per ounce.
    "A weaker U.S. dollar continues to help precious metals to
shine," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.
"To this, we can add U.S./Russia relations, North Korea,
Venezuela and the revolving door at the White House to the mix,
all of which will also be supportive of gold as a safe haven."
     The dollar inched up but still hovered near a 2-1/2 year
low versus the euro on Tuesday. Its outlook remained clouded by
U.S. political turmoil and doubts about whether there will be
another Federal Reserve rate hike this year.       
    Tensions simmered in the U.S. as Russia retaliated to new
sanctions and as North Korea continued to pose a threat to the
country after it said on Saturday it had conducted another
successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
                         
    Gold is often used as an alternative investment during times
of political and financial uncertainty.    
    Investors are also looking ahead to the U.S. non-farm
payrolls data later this week and how that will affect the
dollar, according to Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong
Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
    Spot gold is poised to break a resistance at $1,271 per
ounce and rise towards the next resistance at $1,277, driven by
a strong wave C, according to Reuters technical analyst, Wang
Tao.             
    In other precious metals, silver        0.3 percent to
$16.84 per ounce. It hit an over one-month high in the previous
session and rose 1.3 percent in July.
    Palladium        rose 0.4 percent to $886.73 per ounce after
it hit a near seven-week high in the previous session $897.05.
It rose almost 5 percent in July. 
    Platinum        climbed 0.4 percent to $938.90 per ounce,
after rising to $943.70 in the previous session, the highest
since June 14. It rose almost 5 percent in July in what was its
first monthly gain since February.
    

 (Reporting by Nithin Prasad and Arpan Varghese in BENGALURU;
Editing by Richard Pullin and Kenneth Maxwell)
  
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