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PRECIOUS-Gold firms on euro strength after Macron wins French elections
May 8, 2017 / 4:16 AM / 7 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold firms on euro strength after Macron wins French elections

    * Gold edges up from 7-week low hit earlier in the session
    * Spot gold still targets $1,209- technicals
    * Specs cut bullish COMEX gold, silver positions
    * Euro hits 6-month high vs dollar

 (Adds comment, updates prices)
    By Swati Verma
    BENGALURU, May 8 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Monday on
bargain-hunting after dipping to a seven-week low earlier in the
session and as the euro strengthened after pro-EU candidate
Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election.
    Spot gold        rose 0.3 percent to $1,230.64 per ounce as
of 0727 GMT, after touching 1,224.86 earlier in the session, its
lowest since March 17.
    U.S. gold futures         were also up 0.3 percent at
$1,230.80 an ounce.
    The euro hit a six-month high against the dollar on Monday
after centrist Macron comfortably won the French presidential
election, defeating Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist who
threatened to take France out of the European Union.       
    "Leading into the election, with many polls predicting
Macron's victory, we saw safe-haven buying easing into end of
last week. Confirmation that he is victorious has not resulted
in any additional selling," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes.
    Uncertainties on whether Macron's new party can get a
parliamentary majority in the June legislative elections and a
lack of clarity on his ability to deliver policies provided a
little support to the bullion prices.             
    "Weak positioning (potentially election positioning) in the
precious saw offers take gold lower on the open... however the
move was well supported and bids restricted further declines,"
said MKS PAMP Group trader Sam Laughlin.
    Gold last week saw its biggest weekly percentage fall since
the week ending Nov. 11, ending 3.2 percent lower.
     Prices have fallen over 5 percent since hitting a
five-month high of $1,295.42 in mid-April.
    "Gold is still pretty much wanted after last week's fall...
People are happy to buy around this level," said Yuichi Ikemizu,
head of commodity trading at Standard Bank in Tokyo.
    Spot gold still targets $1,209 per ounce, as suggested by a
Fibonacci retracement analysis, according to Reuters technical
analyst Wang Tao.             
    Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Friday that
job growth rebounded sharply in April and the unemployment rate
dropped to 4.4 percent, near a 10-year low. This points to a
tightening labour market that likely seals the case for an
interest rate increase next month despite moderate wage growth.
    Higher rates could dent demand for non-interest bearing
    Hedge funds and other money managers cut their net-long
position in COMEX gold for the first time in seven weeks, in the
week to May 2, while they reduced their bullish stance in silver
to the lowest since January, U.S. government data showed Friday.
    Spot silver        gained 0.1 percent to $16.31 an ounce.
    Platinum        was 0.2 percent higher at $913.49 an ounce,
and palladium        was steady at $811.25.

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair
and Christian Schmollinger)

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