April 30, 2018 / 11:43 AM / 6 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold near six-week low as dollar firms, Korea fears ease

    * Dollar index rises back towards Friday's three-month high
    * Investors trim COMEX gold longs in week to April 24
    * GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

 (Updates prices, adds comment)
    By Jan Harvey
    LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) - Gold fell to its lowest in
nearly six weeks on Monday as the dollar strengthened and as
easing tensions on the Korean peninsula helped boost appetite
for assets seen as higher risk, such as stocks.
    The metal slid 1 percent last week on the back of a stronger
dollar and a rise in Treasury yields to above 3 percent, which
weighed on interest in non-interest bearing assets. 
    Its retreat has left it on track to end April down 0.5
percent, erasing all the previous month's gains.
    Spot gold        was down 0.8 percent at $1,311.61 an ounce
by 1330 GMT, off an earlier low of $1,311.11, its weakest since
March 13. U.S. gold futures         for June delivery were 0.8
percent lower at $1,312.60 an ounce. 
    "Easing geopolitical concerns and the strengthening dollar
index are the factors which are creating the sell-off," Naeem
Aslam, chief markets analyst at Think Markets, said. 
    "We are looking at two important support levels - $1,307
followed by $1,300," he said. "A break of these levels would
bring more selling pressure."
    At their summit on Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
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.             
    "The signs of detente in the North Korean conflict are...
contributing to the lack of solid demand for gold as a safe
haven at present," Commerzbank said in a note.
    "Following the historic meeting between North Korean leader
Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, North Korea
appears ready to shut down its nuclear testing facility in the
country's northeast soon."
    The dollar index was up 0.4 percent on Monday, holding just
below its strongest since mid-January, while European shares
climbed after a positive session among Asian stocks overnight as
tensions on the Korean peninsula eased.                   
    World stocks are on track to rise this month for the first
time since January, lifted by positive earnings from U.S.
technology firms and a string of high-profile M&A deals.
    Hedge funds and money managers cut 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 data showed on Friday.             
    Among other precious metals, silver        was down 1.6
percent at $16.23 an ounce, off an earlier three-week low of
$16.20. Platinum        was down 1.1 percent at $901 an ounce
and palladium        was 1.1 percent lower at $963.72. 
    On a monthly basis palladium is the biggest riser among the
major precious metals in April, up 1.1 percent after U.S.
sanctions on major producer Russia stoked concerns over supply.
Platinum, down 2.5 percent, is the biggest faller so far.

 (Additional reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru
Editing by Edmund Blair/David Evans)
  
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