September 11, 2014 / 10:25 AM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold falls to 7-1/2 month low as safe-haven demand fades

* Dollar index flat but near 14-month peak

* Ukraine ceasefire, Fed rate hike fears weigh

* Physical demand in Asia eyed as price retreats

* Coming up: U.S. import-export prices, retail sales Fri (Adds new comment, NEW YORK to dateline, second byline, updates market activities)

By Frank Tang and Clara Denina

NEW YORK/LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Gold slipped to its lowest level in 7-1/2 months on Thursday, as the dollar hovered around a 14-month high, in the wake of the easing of tension in Ukraine, dragging other precious metals broadly lower.

Heavy profit-taking in platinum group metals weighed down on prices, and silver fell for a second straight day to hit a 14-month low.

Gold prices fell even though U.S. President Barack Obama authorized air strikes against Islamic State and more sanctions on Russia will be unveiled on Friday. Safe-haven demand has faded after Ukraine said on Wednesday Russia had removed the bulk of its forces from its country.

In addition, market participants were anticipating a more hawkish stance at the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting next week after a study from the San Francisco Fed released on Monday showed that investors underestimated the speed at which the Fed might raise rates.

“Gold will clearly come under pressure as long as the dollar remains firm, and the fear that the Fed will raise interest rates and a ceasefire in Ukraine are also weighing,” said Phillip Streible, senior commodities broker at Chicago-based RJO Futures.

Spot gold slipped 0.7 percent to $1,240.30 an ounce by 2:45 p.m. EDT (1845 GMT), having earlier reached its lowest since Jan. 23 at $1,234.71.

U.S. COMEX gold futures for December delivery settled down $6.30 an ounce at $1,239.

The dollar index was little changed against a basket of major currencies on Thursday, but stayed near a 14-month high set earlier this week and on track to post its ninth consecutive week of gains.

The recent drop in gold prices attracted some bargain hunters with holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rising three tonnes on Wednesday to 788.72 tonnes - the first inflow in three weeks.

Dealers in Hong Kong, the main conduit for gold into China, said demand had picked up in recent days because of the drop in prices, but not in any robust way.

In India, the second-biggest buyer, demand is expected to pick up ahead of the Diwali festival, but import curbs could keep any gains in check.

Other precious metals tracked gold lower. Silver was down 1.7 percent at $18.58 an ounce, having touched $18.54, its lowest since July 1, 2013.

Platinum fell 0.9 percent to $1,365.75, having reached a seven-month low of $1.360.80 an ounce, while palladium was down 2 percent at $829.10, after hitting a fresh 2-1/2 month low at $824.80. (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; Editing by Dale Hudson, Mark Potter and Phil Berlowitz)

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below