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Gold hovers near 6-year high as dovish cenbanks, US-Iran tensions fuel demand

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Gold prices advanced on Monday, hovering near a six-year high touched in the previous session, as dovish signals from major central banks and heightened tensions between the United States and Iran boosted demand for the safe-haven metal.

[BENGALURU] Gold prices advanced on Monday, hovering near a six-year high touched in the previous session, as dovish signals from major central banks and heightened tensions between the United States and Iran boosted demand for the safe-haven metal.

Spot gold was up 0.3 per cent at US$1,402.50 per ounce as of 3.36am 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 0.6 per cent to US$1,409.10 per ounce.

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.

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Market voices on:

"We are just seeing continued improvement in sentiment built around the more dovish tone from central banks, but clearly the safe-haven buying has also picked up with the US-Iran tensions escalating over the weekend," ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said.

"Gold surpassed some fairly good support levels, so (I) do feel like prices will broadly hold above the US$1,400 level. At some point we might see a pullback as investors lock in profits."

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

Helping bullion's appeal, the dollar index 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.

"We remain cautiously optimistic on gold as a weaker dollar should provide the precious metal with a robust tailwind for now," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.

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.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the G20 summit in Japan this week, state-run Xinhua news agency said on Sunday, giving the first official confirmation of his attendance at a gathering where he is expected to meet Mr Trump.

Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, rose 4.57 per cent on Friday from a day earlier, in their biggest one-day percentage gain since September 2008.

"Strong performance in equity markets has hindered gold's rally in the past. Those issues around economic growth and potential for lower interest rates have cuddled back the rally in stock markets, that's seen investors rotate back into gold-backed ETFs," ANZ analyst Hynes said.

Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.2 per cent to US$15.32 per ounce, while platinum was up 0.7 per cent at US$811.18 per ounce.

Palladium rose 1.1 per cent to US$1,516.70 an ounce.

REUTERS