August 11, 2017 / 1:11 AM / a year ago

Gold buoyed by U.S.-North Korea tensions

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Gold rose to two-month highs on Friday as investors sought refuge from the uncertainty of escalating security tensions between North Korea and the United States.

A salesman arranges gold ornaments on a display board inside a jewellery showroom in Kochi on April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Sivaram V

U.S President Donald Trump warned North Korea again on Thursday not to strike Guam or U.S. allies, saying his earlier threat to unleash “fire and fury” on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,287.83 per ounce at 0955 GMT, set for its biggest weekly gains since April. It earlier hit its highest since June 8 at $1,288.97 an ounce.

“There is a continuation of flight to the safe havens after remarks on Thursday evening from Trump about North Korea,” said Quantitative Commodity Research consultant Peter Fertig.

“It’s not very likely that these tensions will ease in the near future so the outlook seems supportive for gold.”

Geopolitical risks can boost demand for assets considered safe-haven investments, such as gold.

U.S. gold futures added 0.3 percent to $1,293.

Elsewhere, global stocks pulled further back from all-time highs, falling for the fourth straight session.

“Traders should closely watch global equities today, with further falls and risk aversion likely pumping more safe-haven flows into precious metals,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

The dollar slid to an eight-week low against the yen on Friday but was slightly firm against a basket of major currencies.

The market also awaited U.S. consumer inflation data on Friday that could offer more clues about the pace of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening.

Meanwhile, gold demand in India remained sluggish this week as local prices jumped to their highest in nearly three months and a rally in global prices dampened buying elsewhere in Asia.

Silver added 0.3 percent to $17.12 per ounce after hitting $17.24, its highest since June 14, in the previous session. It was on course for an over 5 percent weekly rise, the highest such gain since July 2016.

Platinum climbed 0.4 percent to $980.74 per ounce after touching $984.60 during the session, its highest since April 18. It was up about 2 percent for the week so far.

Palladium climbed 0.3 percent to $899.50 per ounce and was on track to end the week 2.3 percent higher.

Reporting by Nithin Prasad and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath and David Evans

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