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PRECIOUS-Gold jumps 1 pct as geopolitical worries spur safe-haven buying
April 11, 2017 / 10:12 AM / 8 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold jumps 1 pct as geopolitical worries spur safe-haven buying

    * Worries over political tensions support gold prices
    * SPDR Gold holdings rise 0.21 percent on Monday
    * GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns:

 (Updates with prices, comment)
    By Zandi Shabalala
    LONDON, April 11 (Reuters) - Gold jumped more than 1 percent
on Tuesday as investors sought assets seen as havens from risk
amid mounting political and security concerns over North Korea,
the Middle East and the looming French election.
    Spot gold        was up 0.9 percent to $1,265.47 per ounce
at 1412 GMT, within striking distance of its highest level since
November of $1,270.46 touched on Friday.
    U.S. gold futures         rose 0.4 percent to $1,259.20.
    Global tensions escalated on Tuesday when Western countries
were joined by Middle Eastern allies in a push to isolate Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad following a chemical attack in the
country last week.
    This combined with uncertainty about the result of the
upcoming French presidential election to boost demand for
safe-haven assets among jittery investors.             
    "Tensions in the Middle East haven't receded and various
other geopolitical stories can be put together which help
support the price of gold," said Natixis precious metals analyst
Bernard Dahdah, adding French elections were also a risk factor.
    "But typically (safe-haven buying) will not have an impact
on the long term on gold," he cautioned.    
    Investors also bought the Japanese yen and U.S. Treasuries,
while the dollar index        fell and stocks took a knock.   
    Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve plans to raise U.S. interest
rates gradually so as to sustain healthy growth without letting
the economy overheat, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Monday.
Rising interest rates lift the opportunity cost of holding
non-yielding bullion.             
    From a technical viewpoint, a rally above $1,260 could be
hard to sustain "as gold lacks momentum", Jeffrey Halley, senior
market analyst at OANDA said.
    "A break of $1,240 will prelude a deeper correction," he
    Commerzbank commodity analyst Carsten Fritsch said Tuesday's
drop below $1,250 prompted buying interest, establishing it as
solid support.
    Gold has been failing to break key chart resistance at its
200-day moving average.
    Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.21 percent to 838.26
tonnes on Monday from 836.49 tonnes on Friday.          
    Spot silver        was flat at $17.91 an ounce after marking
its lowest in more than two weeks at $17.71 in the previous
    Platinum        rose 0.5 percent to $940.25 an ounce, after
hitting its weakest in over three weeks at $931.85 on Monday.
    The spread between gold and platinum hit its highest since
October 2016 at $318.23.
    "There is certainly more geopolitical risks at the moment
and that is more positive (for) gold than platinum and there is
no surprise in that sense to see the spread widen ... There is
generally a downbeat (sentiment) about diesel cars in Europe," a
London-based market analyst with a mining company said.
    Platinum is used in catalysts in diesel-powered vehicles,
which are going out of favour in Europe.
    Palladium        slipped 0.2 percent to $799.45 after
touching its weakest in more than a week at $784.72 in the
previous session.

 (Additional reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru;
Editing by David Evans and Mark Potter)

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