April 16, 2018 / 3:48 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold little changed as investors assess Syria strikes fallout

    * United States, UK, France strike Syria's chemical weapons
    * Spot gold to rise to $1,355/oz- technicals
    * Specs raise net long positions in COMEX gold- CFTC

 (Updates prices, adds analyst comment, details)
    By Swati Verma
    BENGALURU, April 16 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little
changed in Asian trade on Monday as markets assessed the
possible consequences of a U.S.-led missile strike against Syria
over the weekend, in the biggest intervention by Western powers
against a poison gas attack.
    Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,344.03 an ounce
as of 0753 GMT, while U.S. gold futures         eased 0.1
percent to $1,346.80 an ounce. 
    Forces from the United States, Britain and France pounded
Syria with air strikes early on Saturday, hitting three of
Syria's main chemical weapons facilities.             
    "It's too early to say what the impact is; if you think what
the risk assets and dollar has done in Asian hours, gold is
steady in comparison. It has done its job and brought stability
to those who hold gold in their portfolio," said Dominic
Schnider at UBS Wealth Management in Hong Kong.
    Asia shares ex-Japan                 fell 0.7 percent and
the dollar index        was down 0.1 percent.                   
    Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Sunday that
further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world
affairs, as Washington prepared to increase pressure on Russia
with new economic sanctions.                          
    "Gold prices are biased upwards in the short-term as gold is
still seen as a safe-haven asset amid tensions over Syria,
U.S.-Russia sanctions and trade war," said Brian Lan, managing
director at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore.
    Spot gold may break a resistance at $1,348 per ounce and
rise more towards the next resistance at $1,355, said Reuters'
technical analyst Wang Tao.         
    Speculators raised their net long positions in COMEX gold
contracts by 363 contracts to 138,212 contracts in the week to
April 10, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data
showed on Friday.        
    Dealers trimmed their short positions in silver by 3,187
contracts to 36,417 contracts, the data showed.
    Silver        fell 0.3 percent to $16.57 per ounce, while
platinum        gained 0.1 percent to $928.20 an ounce. 
    Palladium        was 0.2 percent lower at $985.10 per ounce
after hitting a three-week high of $990.50 on Friday. Prices
rose 9.6 percent last week, their biggest weekly gain since
January 2017.

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; editing by Christian
Schmollinger and Biju Dwarakanath)
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