April 30, 2018 / 11:45 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold near six-week low as dollar firms, Korea tensions ease

    * Dollar index rises back towards Friday's three-month high
    * GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

 (Updates prices, headline; adds comment, second byline, NEW
YORK to dateline)
    By Renita D. Young and Jan Harvey
    NEW YORK/LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell to
the lowest in nearly six weeks on Monday as the dollar
strengthened and easing tensions on the Korean peninsula helped
boost appetite for higher risk assets such as stocks.
    Spot gold        lost 0.3 percent at $1,318.14 per ounce by
1:34 p.m. EDT (1734 GMT), off an earlier $1,310.11 low, its
weakest since March 21. U.S. gold futures         for June
delivery settled down $4.20, or 0.3 percent, at $1,319.20 per
ounce.
    "Gold has been under selling pressure as the U.S. dollar
firmed up and geopolitical risks abated," said Bart Melek, head
of commodity strategy at TD Securities.
    Gold traded near key support levels. "We are looking at two
important support levels - $1,307 followed by $1,300," said
Naeem Aslam, chief markets analyst at Think Markets. "A break of
these levels would bring more selling pressure." 
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President
Moon Jae-in on Friday declared they would take steps to formally
end the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended only with a truce, and
work towards the "denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula.
            
    "The signs of detente in the North Korean conflict are ...
contributing to the lack of solid demand for gold as a safe
haven at present," Commerzbank said in a note.
    "Following the historic meeting between North Korean leader
Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, North Korea
appears ready to shut down its nuclear testing facility in the
country's northeast soon."
    The dollar index rose to near three-month highs against the
euro after weaker-than-expected German data hurt the euro.
                   
    World stocks are on track to rise this month for the first
time since January, lifted by positive earnings from U.S.
technology firms and a string of high-profile M&A deals.
            
    Investors are waiting to see more inflationary signals
before making big moves in gold, said George Gero managing
director of RBC Wealth Management. "We continue to talk to
long-term investors about being patient holders (of gold)."
    Among other precious metals, silver        declined 1
percent at $16.33 an ounce, off an earlier three-week low of
$16.18. Platinum        was down 0.8 percent at $903.40 an ounce
earlier dipping to a more than 4-month low of $898.10.
    Palladium        lost 0.7 percent at $967.20 an ounce. 
    On a monthly basis, palladium is the biggest riser among the
major precious metals in April, up 1.1 percent after U.S.
sanctions on major producer Russia stoked concerns over supply.
Platinum, down 2.5 percent, is the biggest faller so far.

 (Additional reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru
Editing by David Evans and Richard Chang)
  
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