March 22, 2017 / 3:42 AM / 5 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold hits 3-wk peak as investors shun equities on Trump worries

    * Investors weary over Trump administration's struggles on
policy
    * SPDR Gold holdings rise 0.5 pct on Tuesday after 3
sessions of losses
    * Silver, platinum off 2-wk highs hit in prior session
    * Palladium off over 1-mth peak touched on Tuesday

 (Adds quotes, updates prices)
    By Sethuraman N R
    March 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose to a three-week high
on Wednesday as risk-averse investors dumped equities amid a
weaker dollar and sought safe havens on growing doubts about
U.S. President Donald Trump's economic agenda.
    Spot gold        had risen 0.3 percent to $1,247.56 per
ounce by 0644 GMT, after touching a three-week peak of
$1,248.47.
    U.S. gold futures         were firm at $1,246.30.
    The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was at 99.761, near the six-week
low of 99.642 reached on Tuesday.
    Asian stocks fell on Wednesday as growing doubts about
President Trump's economic growth agenda prompted investors to
dump risky assets.                         
    "It seems that equity investors decided to take some money
off the table, perhaps getting slightly wary about the progress
in President Trump’s legislative agenda," INTL FCStone analyst
Edward Meir said.
    "Gold will likely continue to rally going into Wednesday’s
session as Tuesday’s U.S. stock market selloff was significant
and will likely have a knock-on effect on international equity
markets over the next 24 hours."
    Gold has rallied nearly $50 from last Wednesday's low
following a less hawkish policy statement from the U.S. Federal
Reserve.
    "The re-positioning of investors since the FOMC meeting
continues unabated, with investors becoming less bearish as a
result of the subdued outlook for rates in 2018," ANZ analysts
said in a note.
    The lack of a concrete policy from the Trump administration
is worrying investors and more people will opt for gold as a
safe-haven investment when the stock markets go lower, analysts
and traders said. 
    "With the fate of the health care bill uncertain, more
important legislation that equity investors want to see passed,
namely, tax reform and infrastructure spending are both bottled
up and languishing," Meir said.
    Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.50 percent to 834.40
tonnes on Tuesday from 830.25 tonnes on Monday. 
    Holdings rose 4.15 tonnes on Tuesday after three straight
sessions of outflows, underpinning investors' interest in the
metal.
    "Gold looks well positioned for a test above resistance
at$1,248-$1,250," MKS PAMP Group trader Sam Laughlin said.
    Spot silver        was up 0.2 percent to $17.52 per ounce,
after hitting a more than two-week high of $17.59 in the
previous session.
    Platinum        was 0.3 percent higher at $969.50 per ounce,
after touching a two-week peak at $974.80 on Tuesday.
    Palladium        was down 0.7 percent at $780.18 per ounce.
The metal hit a more than one-month high at $792.90 in the prior
session.

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by
Christian Schmollinger and Subhranshu Sahu)
  

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