April 30, 2018 / 5:03 AM / 7 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices ease as dollar steadies, Korean tensions ebb

    * Spot gold neutral in $1,317-$1,326/oz range -technicals
    * Investors trim net long position in COMEX gold in April 24
week

 (Updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    BENGALURU, April 30 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched down on
Monday as the U.S. dollar steadied and as signs of easing
tensions on the Korean peninsula reduced safe-haven demand for
the metal.  
    Spot gold        had fallen 0.3 percent to $1,318.23 per
ounce by 0639 GMT. U.S. gold futures         for June delivery
declined 0.3 percent to $1,319.20 per ounce. Prices have dropped
about 0.5 percent so far in April.
    "Gold is still tracked very closely with the dollar," said
Helen Lau, analyst at Argonaut Securities.
    The dollar index       , which touched a 3-1/2-month high of
91.986 on Friday, was steady at 91.543.       
    The greenback has risen as much as 1.7 percent so far this
month, its strongest monthly gain since November, 2016. 
    Markets were mostly quiet on Monday with Japan, China and
India on holiday and as much of Asia will be closed on Tuesday. 
    "Geopolitical risks also seem to be turning around ...
Everybody want to come to the table and negotiate a deal," Lau
added. 
    At their summit on Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in declared they would
take steps to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended
only with a truce, and work towards the "denuclearisation" of
the Korean peninsula.             
    Separately, a delegation of U.S. officials, including
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and President Donald Trump's
top economic and trade advisers are all expected in China later
this week for trade negotiations.             
    Gold is often used as a store of value during times of
financial or political uncertainty.
    "Gold positions continued to be rolled back as the markets
are adjusting portfolios given the increased potential for the
dollar to rise in the weeks ahead becomes a reality," said
Stephen Innes, APAC trading head at OANDA.
    Hedge funds and money managers trimmed their net long
position in COMEX gold contracts and switched to a net long
position in silver contracts in the week to April 24, U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on
Friday.             
    Spot gold looks neutral in a range of $1,317-$1,326 per
ounce, and an escape could suggest a direction, according to
Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.             
    Among other precious metals silver        was down 0.6
percent at $16.40 per ounce, after it touched a three-week low
of $16.37. However, prices are up about 0.7 percent for April so
far.
    Platinum        was down 0.5 percent at $906.00 per ounce
and was on track to record its third consecutive monthly fall,
down over 2 percent.
    Palladium        fell 0.5 percent to $969.22 per ounce, but
was set to post its biggest monthly gain since December. 

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian
Schmollinger and Joseph Radford)
  
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