Gold rallies to near 6-year top as U.S.-Iran dispute intensifies
* SPDR posts biggest daily percentage gain since 2008
* Speculators increase net longs in COMEX gold
* Spot gold prices up more than 8% this month
(New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments)
By Diptendu Lahiri
June 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices surged more than 1 percent
on Monday to nearly a six-year peak as the dollar sagged, with
the safe-haven bullion boosted by U.S. President Donald Trump's
announcement to impose fresh sanctions on Iran.
Spot gold jumped 1.2% to $1,415.51 an ounce by 12:45
p.m. EDT (1645 GMT), heading for a fifth straight session of
gains. Its session high of $1,416.84 was its highest level since
late August 2013.
U.S. gold futures rose 1.4% to $1,419.20 an ounce.
"Gold is holding some sprawling gains from the earlier
sessions prompted by slumping dollar and increasing safe haven
demand on the back of President Trump threatening to impose new
sanctions on Iran," said Alex Turro, market strategist at RJO
"Gold is also getting some underlying support by the central
banks trying to cut rates."
Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions on Iran on Monday following
Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the
measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
Gold prices have risen over 8% this month, and about $75 an
ounce over the past week.
"It's the strong upside momentum from last week along with
higher ETF buying and a weaker dollar boosting gold prices,"
INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said.
Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed ETF, SPDR Gold
Trust, jumped 4.6% on Friday from the previous day, its
biggest daily percentage gain since September 2008.
Helping gold's appeal, the dollar dipped, having faced its
biggest weekly drop last week since mid-February on bets the
U.S. Federal Reserve would start lowering interest rates as
early as next month.
The Fed and the European Central Bank last week hinted they
were open to easing policy to counter a global economic
slowdown, exacerbated by trade tensions.
The market will watch a summit in Japan this week of leaders
from the Group of 20 leading world economies, hoping Washington
and Beijing can resolve their trade dispute.
"The climb in gold prices have woken people up. ... Now that
gold has broken the 1,400 level, it is expected to go up," said
an analyst based in New York.
Speculators also boosted their bullish stance in COMEX gold
in the week to June 18, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission said on Friday.
Silver edged 0.4% higher to $15.42 per ounce and
platinum rose 0.9% to $812.70.
Palladium climbed 2.6% to $1,538.19 an ounce.
(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri and Swati Verma in Bengaluru
Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Gregorio)
First Published: 2019-06-24 03:47:55
Updated 2019-06-24 19:01:52
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