August 27, 2013 / 10:24 AM / 4 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rises 1 pct on safe-haven bids, Syria fears

* Treasuries rise, equities fall
    * Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan added gold to reserves in July
    * Gold enters overbought area in charts
    * Coming up: U.S. pending home sales Wednesday

 (Updates market activity)
    By Frank Tang and Jan Harvey
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Gold rose 1 percent to
its highest price in more than three months on Tuesday, as
investors sought safe havens from rising geopolitical tension,
with an attack by Western powers on Syria seen imminent.
    Western forces could attack Syria within days, the United
States and its allies have told rebels fighting President Bashar
al-Assad, opening up new risks in a war that is spreading
hatreds across the Middle East. 
    "The possibility of U.S. military action against Syria is
driving demand for safe-haven assets including gold," said
Jeffrey Sherman, commodities portfolio manager at DoubleLine, an
asset manager with about $57 billion in assets under management.
    Bullion prices rose along with other safe havens such as
U.S. Treasuries. Brent oil futures jumped more than 3
percent to about $115 per barrel, while U.S. equities, measured
by the S&P 500 index, dropped nearly 1.5 percent. 
    U.S. home prices rose in June, but the pace of gains cooled,
suggesting higher mortgage rates might end up slowing momentum
as the year winds down. 
    Recent disappointing U.S. economic data added to confusion
over when the Fed might curb its bond-buying stimulus, which has
kept U.S. interest rates near record lows and increased the
allure of hard assets.
    Spot gold rose 0.9 percent to $1,417.10 by 2:57 p.m.
EDT (1857 GMT), having earlier hit $1,423.41, which marked the
highest since May 15.
    U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled up
$27.10 at $1,420.20 an ounce. Trading volume was at 156,000
lots, about 20 percent below its 30-day average, preliminary
Reuters data showed.
    Buying related to Comex September option expiry on Tuesday
helped boost prices, traders said.
    Buying sentiment improved after data from the International
Monetary Fund showed Turkey, Russia and Azerbaijan increased
their gold reserves in July as bullion prices recovered from
near three-year lows. 
    Gold's convincing break above $1,400 after breaching its
50-day and 100-day moving averages earlier this month continued
to improve its technical outlook, analysts said.
    "Gold is now decisively through previous resistance and is
pushing higher towards the $1,500-$1,532 area, where the 200-day
moving average and lows from late 2011 and 2012 converge,"
CitiFX, Citigroup's technical research team, said in a note.
    Gold's 12-percent rally in the last two weeks has sent its
14-day relative strength index (RSI) to 71, an area often
considered as overbought.
    Among other precious metals, spot silver was up 0.9
percent at $24.50 an ounce, having earlier hit $24.68, which
marked the highest since April 15.
    Platinum dropped 1.1 percent to $1,523.24 an ounce as
Syria and economic fears weighed down on demand expectations.
Platinum reached its highest since April 9 at $1,552.50 in
earlier trade on supply disruptions in South Africa.
    Palladium edged down 0.1 percent at $743.22 an ounce.
 2:57 PM EDT     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL
 US Gold DEC   1420.20  27.10   1.9  1395.20 1424.00  145,760
 US Silver SEP  24.651  0.641   2.7   23.980  24.715   74,888
 US Plat OCT   1532.10 -12.40  -0.8  1522.60 1558.00   11,123
 US Pall SEP    749.15   3.10   0.4   744.85  753.00   11,190
 Gold          1417.10  12.70   0.9  1397.13 1423.41         
 Silver         24.500  0.230   0.9   24.010  24.680
 Platinum      1523.24 -16.61  -1.1  1528.50 1552.50
 Palladium      743.22  -0.78  -0.1   748.02  749.00
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          30-D ATM VOLATILITY
                CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG
 US Gold        155,764   182,142   190,211     25.07   -0.02
 US Silver      119,104    56,246    53,242     34.97    2.56
 US Platinum     11,441     9,220    12,461     20.82    0.00
 US Palladium    21,582     4,889     5,313                  

 (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore.;
Editing by William Hardy, Keiron Henderson and Andre Grenon)

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