April 17, 2017 / 4:31 AM / 8 months ago

Gold hits 5-month high on rising geopolitical risks

NEW YORK/BENGALURU (Reuters) - Gold jumped to a five-month high on Monday as investors took refuge in safe-haven assets amid rising geopolitical tensions over North Korea.

24 karat gold bars are seen at the United States West Point Mint facility in West Point, New York June 5, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Files

Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,290.40 an ounce by 11:23 a.m. EDT (1523 GMT), after hitting its highest since early November at $1,295.42 earlier in the session.

The yellow metal gave up some 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 < US10YT=RR> also rebounded from their lowest level since November. [USD/]

U.S. stocks edged higher after three straight days of losses. [MKTS/GLOB]

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 rose 0.3 percent to $1,292.10.

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 after Trump’s surprising U.S. presidential win in November and Britain’s unexpected exit from the European Union in July.

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

Uncertainties over Trump’s policy towards North Korea have been growing since the U.S. Navy fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield on April 6.

Adding to these concerns, the U.S. military last week dropped the largest non-nuclear device it has ever used in combat on a network of caves and tunnels used by Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan.

Spot silver turned down 0.1 percent to $18.50 an ounce after touching a five-month high of $18.649.

Platinum was up 1.7 percent at $987.30 an ounce after rallying above its 200-day and 50-day moving averages to a six-week high at $990.10. Spot palladium dropped 0.7 percent to $789.25.

Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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