PRECIOUS-Gold steadies as weaker dollar, geopolitical concerns support


* Dollar drops to three-week low versus euro
    * Gold facing tough resistance in $1,292/oz area
    * Biggest gold ETF see biggest one-day inflow since Sept
    * GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns:

 (Updates prices)
    By Jan HarveyLONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Thursday after
its biggest one-day drop in more than six weeks, finding support
from a retreat in the dollar and jitters over North Korea and
the French election.
    Polls ahead of the French vote, which begins this weekend,
give both far-right and far-left candidates a chance of making
it into next month's run-off. [nL8N1HR1B4] [nL3N1HR1DA]
    Spot gold <XAU=> was at $1,278.89 an ounce at 1145 GMT,
little changed from $1,278.91 late on Wednesday. The metal hit a
five-month high of $1,295.42 an ounce on Monday, before pulling
    U.S. gold futures <GCv1> for June delivery were down $2.90
an ounce at $1,280.50.
    "Gold is consolidating what have been fairly wide moves in
the last week or two, and is trying to tackle overhead
resistance in the $1,290-1,292 area," Societe Generale analyst
Robin Bhar said, adding that $1,300 was the short-term target.
    "The market is taking its cues from other financial assets,
particularly the dollar," he said. "A lot of geopolitical
tensions haven't really been resolved ... so gold has a good
underpinning here."
    The dollar fell to a three-week low against the euro and a
basket of major currencies on Thursday, buffeting assets priced
in the U.S. currency, while world stocks eked out small gains as
investors resisted risky bets before the first round of the
French vote. [FRX/] [MKTS/GLOB]
    Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded
fund, New York-listed SPDR Gold Shares <GLD>, rose 11.8 tonnes
on Wednesday, their biggest one-day inflow since September, data
from the fund showed. [GOL/ETF]
    Spot prices fell 0.8 percent on Wednesday, their biggest
one-day drop since March 7, after last week's rally failed to
beat resistance posed by a declining trendline from the 2011
record high. Prices are so far on track to fall this week after
five straight weeks of gains.
    "While the metal is well positioned for a test of $1,300
with geopolitical concerns underpinning its safe-haven status,
the failed tests of $1,290 are beginning to weigh upon investor
confidence," MKS said in a note.
    "Support toward $1,275 should keep the price action buoyant
over the short term, especially leading into this weekend's
French election," MKS said.
    The other precious metals rose meanwhile. Silver <XAG=> was
0.5 percent higher at $18.17, while platinum <XPT=> was up 0.4
percent at $966.49. Palladium <XPD=> was the strongest gainer of
the day, up 1.1 percent at $783.78.

GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns:
Top precious/base metals research from GFMS
 (Additional reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru;
Editing by Edmund Blair and David Evans)
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