Gold hits 1-week high on geopolitical worries, weaker dollar

Gold prices hit one-week highs on Tuesday, buoyed by a weaker dollar on tepid economic data from the United States and as investors turned to safe-haven assets on worries over geopolitical tensions.

Spot gold had risen 0.2 percent to $1,255.51 per ounce at 0334 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.3 percent at $1,257.9.

Spot gold hit its highest since March 28 at $1,257.10.

A measure of U.S. manufacturing activity retreated from a 2-1/2 year high in March amid a decline in production and an inventory drawdown.

“The data overnight gave some joy to gold investors. Weaker-than-expected numbers are supporting the view that the U.S. Federal Reserve is not going to raise rates more than a couple of times this year,” ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said.

Investor appetite for risk has been dulled this week by a number of factors, such as caution ahead of the upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping and a suspected suicide bombing in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“The critical uncertainty has been a big feature of buying in the gold markets and events overnight in Russia just emboldened the view and is continuing to support safe-haven buying,” Hynes added.

“The market is starting to position itself for a potential break higher … Net long positions in gold have started to peak again and investors are a little more bullish about the outlook.”

Hedge funds and money managers raised their net long position in COMEX gold by 33,179 to 99,150 lots in the week to March 28, the highest in more than three weeks.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, climbed 0.53 percent to 836.77 tonnes on Monday from 832.32 tonnes on Friday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.1 percent to 100.490.

The dollar extended overnight losses and was down 0.3 percent at 110.58 yen after hitting 110.450, its lowest in a week.

A stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Spot silver rose 0.2 percent to $18.27. The metal hit an over one-month high of $18.31.

Platinum rose 0.5 percent to $956.10. It earlier touched a one-week high of $960.40.

Palladium fell 0.2 percent to $800.55.

Source: Reuters