May 8, 2018 / 10:35 AM / 17 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold flat after dollar hits 2018 high; Iran tensions underpin

    * Market awaits Trump decision on Iran nuclear deal
    * Spot gold may revisit May 1 low of $1,301.51/oz -
technicals

 (Updates prices, headline; adds comment, second byline, NEW
YORK to dateline)
    By Renita D. Young and Maytaal Angel
    NEW YORK/LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) - Gold prices were flat
following a brief increase on Tuesday after the U.S. dollar
backed down from a new 2018 high as worries hovered that the
United States may be set to pull out of a key nuclear accord
with Iran.
    Spot gold        was flat at $1,313.76 per ounce by 1:32
p.m. EDT (1732 GMT), while U.S. gold futures         for June
delivery settled down $0.40, or 0.03 percent, at $1,313.70 per
ounce. 
    U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce at 2
p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) that he is pulling out of the Iran nuclear
deal, European officials said, after they struggled to persuade
him that the accord has halted Iran's nuclear ambitions.
            
    "If Trump pulls out, I reckon gold will pop higher, but I
doubt it will stay elevated for too long," said Forex.com's
Fawad Razaqzada.
    The decisions to leave the accord should raise risk aversion
in the broader markets, helping gold, seen as a safe asset that
holds its value in times of geopolitical turmoil, though bullion
is still pressured by a stronger dollar, in which it is priced.
    "It must be the dollar which is providing the major
influence on (gold's) direction," said Razaqzada. "However, gold
has held its own relatively better than the euro in the dollar's
slipstream, suggesting that there is a degree or two of safe
haven flows into the precious metal."   
    Against a commodity basket, the greenback        earlier
surged to a 2018 high helped by safe haven flows linked to the
Trump announcement on Iran and as expectations that other major
central banks would follow the footsteps of the U.S. Federal
Reserve in normalising monetary policy have been dashed.       
    India's gold imports in April fell for a fourth straight
month from a year ago to 57 tonnes, on subdued demand after
local prices jumped to 21 month highs, provisional data from
consultancy GFMS and bank dealers showed.             
    In 2018, gold will deliver its strongest annual price
performance in five years, GFMS analysts forecast, as political
uncertainty drives investment in bars and bullion-backed funds.
            
    Spot gold may revisit its May 1 low of $1,301.51 per ounce
as it twice failed to break resistance at $1,317, Reuters
technical analyst Wang Tao said.              0
    Silver        rose 0.2 percent at $16.47 an ounce, earlier
hitting close to a one-week low at $16.30. Platinum       
gained 0.5 percent at $912.20 per ounce.
    Palladium        fell 0.1 percent at $970.70 an ounce.

 (Additional reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru, editing by
Jon Boyle, Richard Balmforth and Cynthia Osterman)
  
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