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Gold eases as investors pile into equities

Reuters  |  LONDON 

By Jan Harvey

(Reuters) - Gold hit its lowest in more than a week on Tuesday as ebbing concerns over North Korea's nuclear ambitions and the impact of Hurricane Irma fuelled further gains in equities, tempering demand for the metal as a haven from risk.

A steadier tone to the dollar after the previous day's sharp rebound took some downward pressure off the metal, however. The U.S. currency remained pinned near Friday's 2-1/2 year low despite Monday's bounce, supporting dollar-priced gold.

Spot gold hit its lowest since Sept. 1 at $1,322.85 in early trade and was at $1,326.50 an ounce at 0922 GMT, little changed from late on Monday. It fell 1.4 percent in that session, its biggest one-day drop in two months.

"The North Korea story has had (an impact) on the price of gold, but these geopolitical events tend to be quite limited in time," Natixis analyst Bernard Dahdah said. "The market accommodates surprisingly quickly when things calm down."

"It was the weakness of the dollar that was really driving gold, and the tensions with North Korea," he said. "The rate at which the dollar can still depreciate is slowing down."

U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down $4.90 an ounce at $1,330.80.

European stocks rose on Tuesday and world shares hit another record high.

"North Korean inaction over the weekend took some heat out of the crisis, with investors becoming a little bit more comfortable," ANZ said in a note. "Hurricane Irma also caused less damage than original feared."

"The market is likely to turn its attention to the Fed, with speakers now in blackout mode ahead of its policy meeting next week."

The Federal Reserve has raised U.S. interest rates twice this year in response to upbeat growth data and falling unemployment, but persistently soft inflation data has tempered expectations for another hike in December.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, as they increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which gold is priced.

Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Shares, rose 1.2 tonnes on Monday, data from the fund showed, after three days of outflows.

Among other metals, silver was down 0.2 percent at $17.76 an ounce, having earlier hit its lowest since Sept. 1 at $17.67.

Platinum was down 0.8 percent at $982.55, while palladium was 0.6 percent higher at $937.72 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, September 12 2017. 15:16 IST