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Gold climbs towards 6-year peak on dovish central banks, Iran tensions

[BENGALURU] Gold climbed on Monday towards the near six-year high reached in the previous session, driven by dovish signals from global central banks and increased tensions between the United States and Iran.

Spot gold was up 0.5 per cent at US$1,405 an ounce by 1240 GMT, heading for a fifth straight session of gains. Gold prices hit US$1,410.78 on Friday, their highest since Sept 4, 2013.

US gold futures rose 0.7 per cent to US$1,410 an ounce.

"The weakness of the US dollar, gold's technical picture and interest from investors themselves have become self-sustaining factors, especially after the massive inflows into gold exchange-traded funds," Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said.

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Tensions between the United States and Iran also supported gold, he added.

Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed ETF, SPDR Gold Trust, rose 4.6 per cent on Friday from a day earlier, its biggest one-day percentage gain since September 2008.

The US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank last week hinted that they were open to easing policy to counter a global economic slowdown, exacerbated by global trade tensions.

Helping gold's appeal, the dollar fell to a three-month low against a basket of currencies on bets the US central bank would start lowering interest rates as early as next month.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said on Sunday he was not seeking war with Tehran, but tensions remain high between the longtime foes, with Washington due to announce "significant" sanctions on Iran on Monday.

Gold prices have risen nearly 8 per cent so far this month, and more than US$70 just over the past week.

Hedge funds and money managers boosted their bullish stance in COMEX gold in the week to June 18 and speculators switched to a net long in silver futures and options, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday.

Gold holding above the psychologically important US$1,400 level is a positive signal for consolidation after last week's rally, said Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst at ActivTrades.

"The gold rally pushed silver up too, but the scenario in this case is less strong, as prices keep bouncing on the resistance area at US$15.50," he said.

Silver edged 0.3 per cent lower to US$15.31 per ounce and platinum was up 0.5 per cent at US$813.68.

Palladium rose 1.2 per cent to US$1,517.23 an ounce.

The market's focus now shifts to whether Washington and Beijing can resolve their trade dispute at a summit in Japan this week of leaders from the Group of 20 leading world economies.

REUTERS