PRECIOUS-Gold rises 1 pct on safe-haven bids, Syria fears
* Treasuries rise, equities fall
* Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan added gold to reserves in July
* Gold enters overbought area in charts
* Coming up: U.S. pending home sales Wednesday
(Updates market activity) NEW YORK/LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Gold rose 1 percent to its highest price in more than three months on Tuesday, as investors sought safe havens from rising geopolitical tension, with an attack by Western powers on Syria seen imminent. Western forces could attack Syria within days, the United States and its allies have told rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, opening up new risks in a war that is spreading hatreds across the Middle East. "The possibility of U.S. military action against Syria is driving demand for safe-haven assets including gold," said Jeffrey Sherman, commodities portfolio manager at DoubleLine, an asset manager with about $57 billion in assets under management. Bullion prices rose along with other safe havens such as U.S. Treasuries. Brent oil futures jumped more than 3 percent to about $115 per barrel, while U.S. equities, measured
U.S. home prices rose in June, but the pace of gains cooled, suggesting higher mortgage rates might end up slowing momentum as the year winds down. Recent disappointing U.S. economic data added to confusion over when the Fed might curb its bond-buying stimulus, which has kept U.S. interest rates near record lows and increased the allure of hard assets. Spot gold rose 0.9 percent to $1,417.10 by 2:57 p.m. EDT (1857 GMT), having earlier hit $1,423.41, which marked the highest since May 15. U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled up $27.10 at $1,420.20 an ounce. Trading volume was at 156,000 lots, about 20 percent below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed. Buying related to Comex September option expiry on Tuesday helped boost prices, traders said. Buying sentiment improved after data from the International Monetary Fund showed Turkey, Russia and Azerbaijan increased their gold reserves in July as bullion prices recovered from near three-year lows.
GOLD IN OVERBOUGHT TERRITORY Gold's convincing break above $1,400 after breaching its 50-day and 100-day moving averages earlier this month continued to improve its technical outlook, analysts said. "Gold is now decisively through previous resistance and is pushing higher towards the $1,500-$1,532 area, where the 200-day moving average and lows from late 2011 and 2012 converge," CitiFX, Citigroup's technical research team, said in a note. Gold's 12-percent rally in the last two weeks has sent its 14-day relative strength index (RSI) to 71, an area often considered as overbought. Among other precious metals, spot silver was up 0.9 percent at $24.50 an ounce, having earlier hit $24.68, which marked the highest since April 15. Platinum dropped 1.1 percent to $1,523.24 an ounce as Syria and economic fears weighed down on demand expectations. Platinum reached its highest since April 9 at $1,552.50 in earlier trade on supply disruptions in South Africa.
Palladium edged down 0.1 percent at $743.22 an ounce.
2:57 PM EDT LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL US Gold DEC 1420.20 27.10 1.9 1395.20 1424.00 145,760 US Silver SEP 24.651 0.641 2.7 23.980 24.715 74,888 US Plat OCT 1532.10 -12.40 -0.8 1522.60 1558.00 11,123 US Pall SEP 749.15 3.10 0.4 744.85 753.00 11,190 Gold 1417.10 12.70 0.9 1397.13 1423.41 Silver 24.500 0.230 0.9 24.010 24.680 Platinum 1523.24 -16.61 -1.1 1528.50 1552.50 Palladium 743.22 -0.78 -0.1 748.02 749.00 TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG US Gold 155,764 182,142 190,211 25.07 -0.02 US Silver 119,104 56,246 53,242 34.97 2.56 US Platinum 11,441 9,220 12,461 20.82 0.00 US Palladium 21,582 4,889 5,313
(Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore.; Editing by William Hardy, Keiron Henderson and Andre Grenon)