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| 21 August, 2017

Gold trades little changed as investors focus on geopolitics, central bank meet

Gold bars are stacked at a safe deposit room of the ProAurum gold house in Munich .     REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Gold bars are stacked at a safe deposit room of the ProAurum gold house in Munich . REUTERS/Michael Dalder

REUTERS/Michael Dalder


By Apeksha Nair

BENGALURU, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on Monday as investors sought further direction after a week of geopolitical uncertainty in the United States and Europe and ahead of a meeting of central bankers later this week.

Spot gold edged 0.1 percent higher at $1,285.91 an ounce by 0406 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were flat at $1,291.20 per ounce.

The metal surged to its highest since November on Friday when political and security concerns in the United States and Spain jangled investors' nerves and stoked demand.            

Prices, however, took a turn later on Friday when U.S.President Donald Trump fired his chief strategist Steve Bannon in the latest White House shake-up. Stock markets recovered after the news and dollar rose as investors turned away from safe-haven assets.            

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"Political tensions were running pretty high during the past week but the news that Steve Bannon was (exiting) the White House on Friday dented investor appetite slowly and at the moment, investors are probably just waiting to see the lay of the land before they decide to move either ways," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes.

Asian stocks and the dollar were little changed on Monday as concerns around Trump's ability to deliver on pro-growth policy promises lingered among investors.

Investors are also wary of any flare-up of tensions between North Korea and United States as U.S. troops and South Korean forces started a joint exercise on Monday.           

Markets are also looking ahead to a top central bankers meeting later this week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's keynote speech will be monitored for cues on further interest rate hikes this year.

"Yellen's speech later in the week could potentially be a market moving event for gold," ANZ's Hynes said. 

Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, as higher rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Spot gold may retrace towards a support at $1,271 per ounce, as it failed to break a resistance at $1,291, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.            

Speculators hiked their net-long position in COMEX gold futures and options for a fifth straight week in the week to Aug. 15, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.        

Among other precious metals, silver was unchanged at $16.93 an ounce, while platinum slipped 0.2 percent to $972.70 an ounce.

Palladium was little changed at $924 per ounce, after climbing to its highest in over 16 years at $934 on Friday.          

(Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Christian Schmollinger)

© Reuters News 2017