March 7, 2014 / 12:47 AM / 4 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold set for 5th straight week of gains on safe-haven demand

SINGAPORE, March 7 (Reuters) - Gold held on to sharp
overnight gains on Friday to trade near a four-month high and
looked poised to log its fifth straight week of gains as a
weaker dollar and geopolitical tensions in Ukraine lifted its
safe-haven status. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold eased 0.2 percent to $1,348.63 an ounce
by 0024 GMT, after rising 1 percent on Thursday. The metal has
gained nearly 2 percent for the week.
    * Palladium, with a 5 percent increase, was headed
for its best weekly gain in nearly eight months due to supply
worries from top producers Russia and South Africa. 
    * Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia on Thursday in a
dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian region that
prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to order sanctions.
 
    * The European Central Bank left interest rates on hold and
unveiled no other measures to bolster a fragile euro zone
recovery on Thursday, boosting the euro. 
    * Switzerland's upper house rejected a popular initiative
that would prohibit the Swiss National Bank from selling any of
its gold reserves, saying the proposal could hamper the central
bank's ability to fulfil its mandate. 
    * Platinum was on track for another weekly gain as
strikes at top producers in South Africa hurt supply.
    
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    MARKET NEWS
    * The euro jumped against the dollar on Thursday to highs
last touched in December and to a peak against the yen unmatched
since January after European policymakers signaled no need for
new economic stimulus. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    1100 Germany Industrial output 
    1330 U.S. Unemployment rate 
    1330 U.S. Nonfarm payrolls 
    1330 U.S. International trade 

    PRICES AT 0024 GMT
 Metal            Last      Change    Pct chg
                                              
 Spot gold         1348.63     -2.11     -0.16
 Spot silver         21.44         0         0
 Spot platinum     1479.25      1.65      0.11
 Spot palladium     778.75      1.45      0.19
 Comex gold         1349.2      -2.6     -0.19
 Comex silver         21.5     -0.07     -0.34
 Euro               1.3864                    
 DXY                79.651                    
                                              
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most
 active months
 
 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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