March 9, 2018 / 4:48 AM / 7 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold dips on firm dollar amid hopes for easing U.S.-N.Korea tensions

    * Gold on track to post its third weekly fall
    * Spot gold may fall more into $1,307-$1,312/oz range -
technicals
    * Investors await U.S. non-farm payroll data due later in
the day

 (Updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    March 9 (Reuters) - Gold prices extended losses into a third
session on Friday as the dollar strengthened against the yen on
hopes of easing tensions between the United States and North
Korea and ahead of U.S. non-farm payroll data later in the day.
    U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was prepared
to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the first U.S.-North
Korea summit, marking a potentially dramatic breakthrough in
nuclear tensions with Pyongyang.             
    "We are seeing reactions to the Trump-Kim Jong Un's
potential for a discussion prompting a risk-on trade and that is
putting some pressure on safe haven assets," said a Hong Kong
based trader. 
    Spot gold        was down 0.3 percent at $1,318.06 per ounce
as of 0737 GMT and was on track to post its third weekly
decline. U.S. gold futures         for April delivery fell 0.2
percent to $1,319 per ounce.
    Against the yen, the dollar rose 0.4 percent to 106.67 yen
      , inching away from a low of 105.24 yen on March 2, the
greenback's weakest level since November 2016.       
    The U.S. dollar had tumbled to 16-month lows against the
safe-haven yen late last week as fears of a trade war rattled
markets after Trump announced his plan for imposing tariffs on
imported steel and aluminium.
    "We are moderately bearish on gold prices, and see the
rising yield environment as a headwind," analysts at Societe
Generale said in a note.
    "That being said, we think U.S. rate hikes are already
priced in for 2018, and ETF holdings have been very stable in
recent history," analysts said, adding that they see gold prices
at $1,275 per ounce in six months. 
    Spot gold may fall more into a range of $1,307-$1,312 per
ounce, as it has pierced below a support at $1,317, according to
Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.             
    Investors were waiting on the release of the U.S. jobs
report later on Friday that will include data on non-farm
payrolls and average hourly earnings.
    "I think today the market might get a little short, feeling
that we will have good numbers and that risk is on," the Hong
Kong based trader said. 
    In other precious metals, silver        slipped 0.3 percent
to $16.45 per ounce. 
    Platinum        inched down 0.1 percent to $951.00 per
ounce, while palladium        declined 0.44 percent to $972.20
per ounce.

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru
Editing by Richard Pullin and Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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