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Gold steady on safe-haven demand amid North Korea, France concerns

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Gold prices held firm on Thursday after falling as much as 1 per cent the previous day, with tensions surrounding North Korea and the upcoming French presidential election driving safe-haven demand.

[BENGALURU] Gold prices held firm on Thursday after falling as much as 1 per cent the previous day, with tensions surrounding North Korea and the upcoming French presidential election driving safe-haven demand.

Spot gold was mostly unchanged at US$1,278.74 per ounce at 0756 GMT. The metal fell 0.8 per cent on Wednesday in its worst one-day drop in over a month.

"Sentiment overall is that everybody is looking for US$1,300 at least by the end of the week. Sentiment around geopolitical issues is really playing on people's minds," said Spencer Campbell, general manager with Kaloti Precious Metals in Singapore.

"We are seeing a lot more physical purchasing, with shops seeing a 100-per cent increase in buying from the retail sector," said Mr Campbell.

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"This clearly shows the pull back is an opportunity (to buy gold before it climbs above US$1,300)." Analysts and traders said gold would be supported by simmering geopolitical tensions around North Korea and nervousness ahead of the first round of France's presidential election.

"With this weekend's French Presidential vote event risk, it is hard to see gold forming a meaningful correction to the downside before next week at the earliest," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

"Safe-haven buying should continue to support any dips." Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 1.39 per cent on Wednesday, their biggest one day gain since early September 2016. Holdings climbed nearly 12 tonnes from Tuesday to 860.76 tonnes.

Meanwhile, spot silver gained 0.4 per cent to US$18.15 an ounce.

Platinum was 0.2 per cent higher at US$964.74, while palladium rose about 1 per cent at US$782.97.

REUTERS

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