September 13, 2017 / 4:30 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold little changed amid firmer equities, weaker dollar

    * Spot gold looks neutral in $1,321-$1,335/oz range
    * SPDR gold holdings rose 0.35 pct on Tuesday

 (Adds comment, updates prices)
    By Apeksha Nair
    Sept 13 (Reuters) - Gold held steady on Wednesday amid
firmer equities and a softer dollar, with safe-haven demand for
the metal supported after U.S. President Donald Trump urged
tougher measures against North Korea.
    Spot gold        was unchanged at $1,331.47 an ounce by 0719
    U.S. gold futures         for December delivery were up 0.2
percent at $1,335.70 an ounce.
    Asian stocks were slightly lower after earlier marking a
near 10-year top, following record highs on Wall Street.
    "You look at the Asian equity markets, it's looking for a
new high. That tells you something. People want to take risk,"
said Dominic Schnider at UBS Wealth Management in Hong Kong. 
    "I think that clearly plays into the story that the
underlying macro story is solid and this risk overlay starts to
disappear and markets refocus on what's driving long term
    U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that U.N.
sanctions on North Korea agreed this week were a small step and
nothing compared to what would have to happen to deal with the
country's nuclear programme.                
    "It seems to me that these concerns are starting to fade.
Some people expect a little harsher sanctions so it's an
indication that military confrontation, against these risks, are
subsiding to some degree," Schnider said.
    Gold is used as an alternative investment during times of
political and financial uncertainty.      
    "Futures are up mainly just on safe-haven buying. People
probably see this as a fairly cheap level to purchase gold as a
hedge against any future issues coming out of the Korean
peninsula," a Sydney-based trader said. 
    Meanwhile, the dollar index       , which measures the
greenback against a basket of currencies, slipped 0.1 percent to
91.758, but managed to remain above its 2-1/2-year low hit last
    "We think the dollar has weakened beyond what it needs to at
least in the short-term and we still look for one rate hike in
December," UBS's Schnider said.
    A stronger greenback makes bullion more expensive for
holders of other currencies, while higher interest rates lead to
higher bond yields and dampen demand for non-yielding gold.
    Spot gold looks neutral in a range of $1,321-$1,335 per
ounce, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.             
    "We are neutral on gold here and would like to wait for some
of the churn in the currency markets before advocating a more
explicit position," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a
    Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.35 percent to 838.64
tonnes on Tuesday.         
    Among other precious metals, silver        was down 0.2
percent at $17.87 an ounce, while platinum        and palladium
       were both 0.1 percent lower at $985.50 and $953.50 an

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford and Biju Dwarakanath)
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