* Dollar index clings above Monday's 15-month low
* Spot gold set to break resistance at $1,271/oz- technicals
(Adds comment, updates prices) BENGALURU, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady near seven-week highs early Tuesday, after registering their biggest monthly gain in five in July, supported by a slump in the U.S. dollar and political uncertainty.
Spot gold was nearly flat at $1,269.30 per ounce at
0358 GMT. It rose 2.2 percent last month, its biggest monthly gain since February.
U.S. gold futures for August delivery rose 0.2
percent to $1,269.00 per ounce. "A weaker U.S. dollar continues to help precious metals to shine," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA. "To this, we can add U.S./Russia relations, North Korea, Venezuela and the revolving door at the White House to the mix, all of which will also be supportive of gold as a safe haven." The dollar inched up but still hovered near a 2-1/2 year low versus the euro on Tuesday. Its outlook remained clouded by U.S. political turmoil and doubts about whether there will be another Federal Reserve rate hike this year. Tensions simmered in the U.S. as Russia retaliated to new sanctions and as North Korea continued to pose a threat to the country after it said on Saturday it had conducted another successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Gold is often used as an alternative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty. Investors are also looking ahead to the U.S. non-farm payrolls data later this week and how that will affect the dollar, according to Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong. Spot gold is poised to break a resistance at $1,271 per ounce and rise towards the next resistance at $1,277, driven by a strong wave C, according to Reuters technical analyst, Wang Tao.
In other precious metals, silver 0.3 percent to
$16.84 per ounce. It hit an over one-month high in the previous session and rose 1.3 percent in July.
Palladium rose 0.4 percent to $886.73 per ounce after
it hit a near seven-week high in the previous session $897.05. It rose almost 5 percent in July.
Platinum climbed 0.4 percent to $938.90 per ounce,
after rising to $943.70 in the previous session, the highest since June 14. It rose almost 5 percent in July in what was its first monthly gain since February.
(Reporting by Nithin Prasad and Arpan Varghese in BENGALURU; Editing by Richard Pullin and Kenneth Maxwell)