Gold hits 1-month high on rising inflation, Ukraine war

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  • China's economic activity slows in March
  • Platinum and Palladium rise over 3%
  • Silver hit its highest in over a month
  • Dollar hits fresh two-year high of 100.84

April 18 (Reuters) - Gold rose to a one-month high on Monday, just shy of the $2,000 an ounce level, as concerns around the Russia-Ukraine conflict and rising inflationary pressures increased safe-haven bids for the precious metal.

Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,976.56 per ounce by 2:09 p.m. ET (1809 GMT), after earlier hitting its highest since March 11 at $1,998.10. U.S. gold futures settled 0.6% higher at $1,986.4.

Gold's advance was curbed late in the session by a jump in benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields and further gains in the dollar, which dulls the appetite for gold among overseas buyers.

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"The little step-up in tension due the Russia-Ukraine war with inflationary pressures across the board boosts safe-haven demand for gold," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures. read more

Concerns over the economic hit from COVID-led restrictions in China also supported the metal, Meger said. read more

Although concerns of soaring inflation boost gold's safe-haven appeal, interest rate hikes to temper higher prices could hurt demand for the metal because of the higher opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to accelerate its pace of policy tightening when it meets next, with a rise of 50 basis points expected in the May and June meetings. read more

"From a technical perspective, spot gold may face little resistance once it goes north of $2,000... However, gold's ability to keep its head above $2,000 may be strained once real yields break into positive territory," Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity, said.

Spot silver rose 0.5% to $25.80 per ounce, having earlier hit its highest in over a month at $26.21.

Platinum gained 2.2% to $1,011.89, its highest since March 25, while palladium was up 2.2% to $2,419.30.

"The epitome of concerns for palladium and platinum is about supply disruptions due to the war," High Ridge's Meger said.

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Reporting by Seher Dareen, Ashitha Shivprasad and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath, Barbara Lewis and Krishna Chandra Eluri

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