PRECIOUS-Gold hits 5-month peak on rising geopolitical worries

    April 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices hit a five-month high on
Monday as the dollar weakened with investors taking refuge in
safe-haven assets in the wake of rising geopolitical tensions
over North Korea.
    * Spot gold        had risen 0.7 percent to $1,293.90 per
ounce by 0030 GMT, after hitting their highest since early
November at $1,295.42 
    * The metal last week rose 2.5 percent, posting its biggest
weekly gain since June last year. 
    * U.S. gold futures         were up 0.6 percent at $1,296.
    * The United States, its allies and China are working
together on a range of responses to North Korea's latest failed
ballistic missile test, U.S. President Donald Trump's national
security adviser said on Sunday, citing what he called an
international consensus to act.             
    * President Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in a referendum
on Sunday to grant him sweeping powers in the biggest overhaul
of modern Turkish politics, but opponents said the vote was
marred by irregularities and they would challenge its result.
    * The dollar dipped to a five-month low against the yen
early on Monday.       
    * Hedge funds and other money managers increased their net
long positions in COMEX gold for the fourth straight week to
April 11, and also raised silver and copper bets, U.S. Commodity
Futures Trading Commission data showed Friday.             
    * The number of Americans filing for unemployment aid
unexpectedly fell last week and consumer sentiment rose early
this month amid continued optimism over household finances,
suggesting a sharp slowdown in job growth in March was an
    * China's banks unexpectedly extended less credit in March
than in the previous month as the government tries to contain
the risks from an explosive build-up in debt and an overheating
housing market.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.77 percent to
848.92 tonnes on Thursday from 842.41 tonnes on Wednesday.
    1230  U.S.   NY Fed Manufacturing     Apr
    1400  U.S.   NAHB Housing Market Indx Apr

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by
Kenneth Maxwell)