Gold prices off 3-month highs; political uncertainty provides support

Gold slipped from three-month highs on Thursday on profit taking, but political risks from elections in Europe and worries over U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies supported safe haven demand for bullion.

Spot gold dipped 0.2 percent to $1,238.90 per ounce at 0054 GMT. On Wednesday, the metal touched its highest since November 11 at $1,244.67.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.1 percent to $1,241 an ounce.

Investors are concerned about the strong showing in the French presidential race of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who has promised to take France out of the euro zone and to hold a referendum on European Union membership.

Controversy over U.S. President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries has recently boosted gold as a safe-haven asset.

Trump is planning to issue a directive targeting a controversial Dodd-Frank rule that requires companies to disclose whether their products contain conflict minerals from a war-torn part of Africa, sources familiar with the administration’s thinking.

U.S. consumers allocated the smallest amount of their annual household expenditure in 60 years to energy last year as electricity, gasoline, and natural gas prices fell and energy efficiency improved, according to research.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heads to Washington on Thursday hoping promises to help create U.S. jobs and bolster Japan’s military will persuade Trump to turn down the heat on trade and currency and stand by the decades-old alliance.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.68 percent to 832.58 tonnes on Wednesday from Tuesday. Holdings rose for a sixth straight session.

South African bullion producer Gold Fields is gearing up for an operation to capture and relocate a population of critically endangered chinchillas living around its Chilean mining project.

Source: Reuters

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