September 8, 2017 / 4:54 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold hits 1-yr peak as dollar sags, N.Korea concerns support

    * Gold prices up 2 percent for week
    * May break resistance at $1,350/oz - technicals
    * U.S. dollar index hits lowest since January 2015

 (Updates prices)
    By Apeksha Nair
    Sept 8 (Reuters) - Gold hit its highest in over a year on
Friday as the dollar sagged after weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs
data and as festering tensions over North Korea stoked
safe-haven demand.
    Spot gold        was up 0.4 percent at $1,352.91, as of 0723
GMT. Earlier in the session, it marked its strongest since
August last year.
    It was up over 2 percent for the week, on track for a third
weekly gain.
    U.S. gold futures         for December delivery rose 0.7
percent to $1,359.50.
    "Lingering North Korean tensions and a general U.S. dollar,
sell-off propelled gold to new 2017-highs overnight. Gold
continues breathing thin air at these rarified levels with the
next technical target at $1,375.00," said Jeffrey Halley, a
senior market analyst at OANDA. 
    The dollar index        was down 0.5 percent at 91.177
against a basket of six major currencies on Friday, after
earlier touching its lowest since January 2015.
    The greenback was under pressure as long-dated Treasury
yields fell to 10-month lows, with weak U.S. jobs data and
worries about the impact of hurricanes Irma and Harvey on the
world's largest economy prompting demand for government debt.
    "Looking at the hurricanes, the damage is expected to be
huge and because of that safe-haven flows into gold, the
Japanese yen and Treasuries have been seen of late," said OCBC
analyst Barnabas Gan.   
    "The very strong yellow metal price is due to safe-haven
flows. Some of the gold-strength is very much due to the ongoing
North Korean tensions as well. The risk for intensified
conflicts is there," Gan said.      
     U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he would
prefer not to use military action against North Korea to counter
its nuclear and missile threat but that if he did it would be a
"very sad day" for the Pyongyang leadership.             
    "Gold prices rallied as weaker-than-expected economic data
provided some doubt as to the next rate hike by the Federal
Reserve," ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes wrote in a note.
    The U.S. Federal Reserve should continue gradually raising
U.S. interest rates given low inflation should rebound, New York
Fed President William Dudley said.             
     Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push up
bond yields, putting pressure on gold by increasing the
opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
    Spot gold may break resistance at $1,350 per ounce and rise
more to the next resistance level at $1,358, said Reuters
technical analyst Wang Tao.                 
    Meanwhile, silver        gained 0.4 percent to $18.15 an
ounce. Early in the day, it touched $18.20, its best since
    Palladium        added 0.6 percent to $961.00 an ounce, but
was set to record its first weekly decline in seven weeks.
    Platinum        climbed 0.3 percent to $1,018.00 an ounce,
after earlier hitting its best since March.

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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