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Gold bounces off lows hit after Macron's French election win

Gold
Source: World Gold Council

Gold prices rose on Monday on bargain-hunting having dipped to a seven-week low earlier as safe-haven demand ebbed away after Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election, with a similar trend seen in other markets.

Spot gold inched down 0.07 percent to $1,226.68 per ounce by, after touching 1,224.86 earlier in the session, its lowest level since March 17. The precious metal, seen as a safe haven, fell 3.2 percent last week, its biggest percentage fall in 25 weeks as polls indicated a landslide for Macron.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery rose 20 cents to settle at $1,227.10 an ounce.

"The result of (the French) election was pretty well forecast ... Last week we had some sizeable (long) liquidation in gold and physical demand remains pretty good right now ... I'm not surprised to see gold supported around current levels," said ICBC Standard Bank analyst Tom Kendall.

The removal of the political risk associated with Macron's rival Marine Le Pen - who had vowed to take France out of the euro - leaves investors refocusing on the pace of monetary policy normalisation in Europe and the United States.

The European Central Bank is expected to have more room to tighten policy as the euro zone's economic recovery gathers pace. In the United States data out Friday showed job growth rebounded sharply in April and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent, near a 10-year low, which is seen as reinforcing the case for a U.S. interest rate increase next month.

Higher rates dent demand for non-interest bearing gold. A stronger dollar also makes dollar-priced gold costlier for non-U.S. investors.

"Expectation for a hike is there so its about the tone the Federal Reserve (takes). I'm mildly bearish for the remainder of this quarter, I wouldn't be surprised to see (gold) test $1,200-$1,180," said Kendall.

Gold has fallen more than 5 percent since hitting a five-month high of $1,295.42 in mid-April.

Hedge funds and other money managers cut their net-long position in COMEX gold for the first time in seven weeks, in the week to May 2, while they reduced their bullish stance in silver to the lowest since January, U.S. government data showed on Friday.

Spot silver fell 0.43 percent to $16.23 an ounce. Platinum was 0.77 percent higher at $918.50 an ounce, and palladium was 0.18 percent lower at $810.