Gold pares gains from 5-month high

Marcy Nicholson and Sethuraman N R
(Australian Associated Press)

REUTERS – Gold pared gains from a five-month high on Monday, losing steam as U.S. Treasury yields turned higher and the dollar came off its lows, after rising geopolitical tensions over North Korea spurred earlier safe-haven buying in bullion.

Spot gold was up 0.05 per cent at $US1,285.86 an ounce by 0443 AEST (1843 GMT), after hitting its highest since early November at $US1,295.42.

The yellow metal gave up most of its gains as the dollar came off a five-month trough against the yen hit earlier in the day, and 10-year U.S. Treasury yields turned higher after falling to their lowest level since November.

U.S. stocks rose after three straight days of losses.

Phillip Streible, senior commodities broker for RJO Futures in Chicago, said gold prices also pared gains on profit taking.

“The Fed is still going to raise rates. The cloud lingers over gold,” Streible said.

The most active U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled up 0.3 per cent at $US1,291.90.

North Korea on Sunday made what was believed to be a failed missile test launch, increasing geopolitical risks. Regional tensions have risen over the past weeks as U.S. President Donald Trump has taken a tough rhetorical line with Pyongyang.

“Gold will likely retain a measure of strength heading into the French elections in about one week’s time, while ongoing tensions in North Korea should also keep the markets rather nervous,” said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

With the first round of France’s presidential election on April 23, an unpredictable outcome is pushing some pollsters to calculate the most extreme runoff scenarios.

Meanwhile, uncertainties over Trump’s policy toward North Korea have been growing.

The bullish sentiment in gold was underscored by data showing speculators increased their net long positions for a fourth straight week to April 11.

The Atlanta and New York Federal Reserve banks downgraded their outlook for U.S. economic growth for the first quarter after disappointing data on retail sales and consumer prices in March.

“As (gold) didn’t manage to get through $US1,300 and due to light volumes during (holiday-related) European hours, gold consolidated until weaker U.S. economic data gave the yellow metal another push,” said Giovanni Staunovo, commodity analyst for UBS Wealth Management.

Spot silver turned down 0.4 per cent to $US18.445 an ounce after touching a five-month high of $US18.649.

Platinum was up 1.5 per cent at $US986.10 an ounce after rallying above its 200-day and 50-day moving averages to a six-week high at $US990.10.

Spot palladium dropped 0.7 per cent to $US789.40.

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