May 23, 2018 / 1:29 AM / 3 months ago

Gold claws higher on soft dollar, renewed trade tensions

LONDON (Reuters) - Gold prices rose for a second session on Thursday, lifted by a weaker dollar, worries about renewed trade tensions and volatile emerging markets.

FILE PHOTO: An employee puts gold bullion into a safe deposit box at Degussa shop in Singapore June 16, 2017. Picture taken June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,296.70 per ounce by 1225 GMT, after gaining nearly 0.2 percent in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery added 0.5 percent to $1,296.20 per ounce.

Gold’s safe haven appeal was burnished after the U.S. launched a national security investigation into car and truck imports that could lead to new tariffs similar to those it imposed on steel and aluminium in March.

“We have a whole host of potential sources of support for gold. Trade spats are reoccuring and there’s a focus on troubled emerging markets,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen, said.

Turkey has been in the spotlight and the lira weakened more than 2 percent after a huge emergency interest rate hike failed to stem its problems.

“The relief rally in the Turkish lira yesterday seems to have only managed to pause the slide but not reverse it,” Hansen said.

Gold was also buoyed from a weaker dollar index, which lost momentum after U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to impose new tariffs and minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting were seen as dovish.

Higher U.S. rates tend to boost the dollar and drag on greenback-denominated gold, but the metal can also be used as a hedge against rising inflation.

Hansen said it was worrying that the positive drivers for gold had not pushed it further towards key levels of $1,300 and $1,305, which need to be broken to resume the upside.

“It we get there that’s going to force a reaction from funds, but we need a spark and so far gold hasn’t managed to break out of its range.”

Spot gold has shed 5 percent since touching $1,365.23 on April 11, the highest in nearly three months.

Among other precious metals, silver gained 0.8 percent to $16.55 an ounce, platinum climbed 0.9 percent to $907.40 an ounce and palladium shed 0.5 percent to $972 an ounce.

Stéphanie Aymes, head of technical analysis at Societe Generale, said in a note that platinum has rebounded from a multi-year trend at $890 and was now approaching a down sloping channel near $924/31.

“A cross above this is needed for signs of rebound.”

Additional reporting by Karen Rodrigues and Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith and Jason Neely

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