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Gold bars are seen at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. (Leonhard Foeger/REUTERS)
Gold bars are seen at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. (Leonhard Foeger/REUTERS)

Gold hits five-month high as Trump comments hurt greenback Add to ...

Gold rallied to a five-month high on Thursday, on track for its best week since June, after the previous day’s comments by U.S. President Donald Trump on the the strength of the dollar knocked the currency half a per cent lower.

The dollar came under heavy pressure along with Treasury yields after Trump said that strength in the U.S. currency would eventually hurt the economy.

With concerns over North Korea and the Middle East already supporting gold, the currency moved nudged it up to its strongest since early November at $1,287.98 an ounce before steadying in later trade.

Spot gold showed a 0.1 per cent gain at $1,286.69 an ounce at 0935 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for June delivery were up $10.50 at $1,288.60.

“Gold’s recapture of $1,280 for the first time since November is significant, as it opens up a trading range potentially to $1,300,” Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler said.

“However, gold is now moving into overbought territory ... and there is elevated risk of profit-taking from here. Nonetheless, risk aversion should continue to support gold in the medium term.”

Trading volumes in wider markets have been light ahead of Easter, with most financial markets closed from the Good Friday holiday.

Trump’s comments put the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields on track for their biggest weekly declines this year, while stock markets fell half a per cent in Europe.

Fears of a new weapons test by North Korea as a U.S. carrier group sailed towards the region, as well as worries about the forthcoming French presidential election, also kept investors on edge.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that trust had eroded between the United States and Russia under Trump, as Moscow delivered an unusually hostile reception to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a face-off over Syria.

“We remain constructive on gold (given) elevated political tensions in both Korea and Syria, coupled with a lower drift evident in U.S. equity markets,” INTL FCStone said in a note.

Among the major physical gold markets, the precious metal was sold at a discount to spot prices in India this week for the first time in six weeks, while demand elsewhere in Asia remained subdued as surging bullion prices deterred buyers.

Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.5 per cent at $18.56, off an earlier five-month high of $18.57. Platinum was 0.2 per cent higher at $970.85, while palladium rose 0.9 per cent to $804.

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