February 7, 2017 / 4:10 AM / in 8 months

PRECIOUS-Gold slips on stronger dollar, profit-taking

* Spot gold hits $1,235.73 on Monday, its highest since Nov.
11
    * Spot gold may test resistance at $1,249/oz - technicals
    * SPDR Gold holdings up for fourth straight session

 (Adds details and updates prices)
    By Arpan Varghese
    Feb 7 (Reuters) - Gold slipped on Tuesday on a stronger
dollar and as investors booked profits after the yellow metal
hit a near three-month high in the previous session, amid
safe-haven demand on the back of rising global political
uncertainty.
    The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was up 0.7 percent at 100.610.
    Spot gold was down 0.52 percent at $1,229.11 per
ounce at 0814 GMT. In the previous session, the metal touched
$1,235.73, its highest since Nov. 11.
    U.S. gold futures fell 0.06 percent, to $1,231.2.
    "Participants still look to play on the long side. However,
we may see profit-taking push the metal towards the 100-day
moving average at $1,220.25," MKS PAMP Group trader Sam Laughlin
said in a note.
    Political uncertainty in the United States has been fuelled
by President Donald Trump's policies, the most controversial of
which is a temporary ban on entry by people from seven mostly
Muslim countries. 
    Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker
on Monday said he would be open to raising interest rates again
at the U.S. central bank's March meeting if growth in jobs and
wages continues. 
     The Fed raised rates for only the second time since the
financial crisis in December, and most Fed policymakers agree
with Harker that three more rate hikes this year would be
appropriate. 
    "The prospects of interest rate hikes in the U.S. is more
likely than most people expect and there could be one in March,"
said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung
Financial Group. 
    "This should drive caution for the gold bulls since with
prices rising to the $1,230 range recently, maybe more people
are looking forward to the $1,250 range, and there could be some
kind of reversal or correction any time soon," he added.
    Spot gold may continue to rise towards a resistance at
$1,249 per ounce, as indicated by a Fibonacci retracement
analysis, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
 
    Among other metals, silver fell about one percent to
$17.57. Earlier in the session, it reached $17.76, its strongest
since Nov. 11.
    Platinum fell as much as 0.4 percent to $1,002.3,
after hitting its highest since Nov.9 at $1,015.20 early in the
day.
    Palladium dropped up to 1.5 percent to $760.40.

 (Reporting by Arpan Varghese and Nallur Sethuraman in
Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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