November 6, 2017 / 10:54 AM / 2 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold jumps more than 1 percent on geopolitical risks

    * Dollar falls slightly after biggest weekly gain this year
    * Speculators cut bullish COMEX gold bets for seventh week
    * GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

 (Recasts; updates prices; adds comment, NEW YORK dateline)
    By Renita D. Young and Jan Harvey
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Gold rose more than 1
percent on Monday, extending gains as geopolitical risks drove
investors to safe-haven assets after the metal's third-straight
weekly decline.
    The U.S. dollar dropped against a basket of currencies, also
boosting gold.       
    Spot gold        was up 1 percent at $1,281.46 an ounce by
1:58 p.m. EST (1858 GMT), while U.S. gold futures        for
December delivery settled up $12.40, or 1 percent, at $1,281.60
per ounce.
    "Geopolitical issues in Saudi Arabia over the weekend and
into today drove the price of gold up," said David Meager,
director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures in Chicago,
citing investors who bought into gold as a safe haven.
    Saudi Arabia's future king, Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman, tightened his grip on power through an anti-corruption
purge by arresting royals, ministers and investors including
billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal who is one of the kingdom's most
prominent businessmen.             
     The dollar dipped on Monday after its biggest weekly rise
this year, while Germany's benchmark bond yield held near
two-month low as investors awaited clues on the European Central
Bank's asset purchase plans. U.S. 10-year yields also hit their
weakest in two weeks.                              
    Gold has drifted lower over recent weeks, pulling back 2.5
percent from its mid-October peak as expectations for a Fed
interest rate increase were shored up by upbeat U.S. data.
    Bullion is highly sensitive to rising U.S. rates, as these
increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion
while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.    
    Hedge funds and money managers reduced their net long
position in COMEX gold contracts for the seventh straight week, 
  in the week to Oct. 31, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.             
    "Speculative financial investors are still withdrawing from
gold," Commerzbank said on Monday. 
    Hedge funds and money managers reduced their net long
position in gold to 6,508 contracts to 166,535 contracts CFTC
said on Friday, the smallest since early August.
    Speculators withdrawing from gold likely drove the
gold-silver ratio to 74.14, its lowest since early June, said
Jeffrey Christian, managing partner of CPM Group in New York.
    "Short-term investors who saw the ratio rise earlier are
cycling out of gold and into silver, thinking silver will play
catch-up and outperform gold," he said.
    The gold-silver ratio shows the amount of silver ounces it
takes to purchase one ounce of gold.
    Among other precious metals, silver        up 2.4 percent at
$17.20 an ounce, platinum        up 1.4 percent at $931.75, and
palladium        was up 0.2 percent at $998.50 an ounce.

 (Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru;
editing by Louise Heavens and Tom Brown)
  
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