March 27, 2017 / 4:10 AM / 4 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold hits 1-mth top as Trump healthcare setback hurts dollar

3 Min Read

    * Dollar falls to the lowest since Nov. 11, 2016
    * Speculators raise net gold longs in the week to March 21
    * Palladium hovering around 2-yr highs

 (Updates prices)
    By Sethuraman N R
    March 27 (Reuters) - Gold rose more than 1 percent to touch
a one-month peak on Monday as the dollar plunged and equities
fell after U.S. President Donald Trump suffered a setback on
healthcare reform, raising doubts about his ability to steer the
economic agenda. 
    Spot gold        rose 1.1 percent to $1,258 per ounce by
0704 GMT after hitting $1,259.14, its highest since Feb. 27. 
    U.S. gold futures         were up 0.8 percent at $1,258.
    Trump's inability to deliver on a major election campaign
promise marked a big defeat for a Republican president whose own
party controls Congress, and raised doubts whether he would be
able to push through tax reforms and mega-spending packages.
            
    "Looks like some people are not happy with Trump's failure
over his promises and we see that currently there is a very
bearish mood about the U.S. dollar," said Jiang Shu, chief
analyst at Shandong Gold Group.
    The dollar slid to a 4-1/2-month low against a basket of
currencies on Monday, dropping to its worst since Nov. 11, 2016.
    U.S. stock index futures        fell 0.7 percent to a
six-week low in heavy volume, suggesting a weaker start on Wall
Street later in the day.            
    "With Trump's 100 days of action rapidly becoming 100 days
of inaction, and ahead of French elections, gold should remain
bid on any meaningful dips going forward," said Jeffrey Halley,
senior market analyst at OANDA.
    Gold could however struggle in the short-term as major
resistance in the shape of the 200-day moving average at
1,260.50 looms and the market is looking overbought, Halley
added. 
    Bullion has rallied nearly $60 since its March 15 low
following a less-hawkish policy statement from the U.S. Federal
Reserve.
    Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the
opportunity cost of holding assets that do not earn interest and
also strengthen the dollar. Gains in the dollar typically weaken
any commodity denominated in the currency. 
    Hedge funds and money managers boosted their net long
positions in COMEX gold after two weeks of cuts and reduced them
 slightly in silver in the week to March 21, U.S. Commodity
Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.             
    Spot silver        rose 0.7 percent to $17.87 an ounce after
hitting a near 3-week high of $17.916, while platinum       
rose 1.3 percent to $973.50.
    Palladium fell 0.2 percent to $807.15, after it touched a
more than 2-year peak of $815.40 in the previous sessions.

 (Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom
Hogue and Biju Dwarakanath)
  

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