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Gold slips from 9-month high after riskier assets rebound

  • U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose earlier in trading to break above $1,300 per ounce.
  • Palladium touches 16-year high.
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Stockbyte

Gold jumped to its highest in more than nine months on Friday as the dollar retreated on political uncertainty in the United States and a suspected Islamist attack in Spain boosted bullion's safe-haven appeal.

Spot gold, flat at 1,288.06 per ounce in trading Friday, earlier in the day touched its highest since Nov. 9 at $1,300.80 per ounce.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose settled down at $1,291.60 per ounce.

"There is clearly more for financial markets to be concerned about," Danske Bank analyst Jens Pedersen said, referring to U.S. political uncertainty and the attack in Spain. "That has led to a risk-off environment, and that's supportive for gold."

Spain mounted a sweeping anti-terrorism operation on Friday after a suspected Islamist militant drove a van into crowds in Barcelona, killing 13 people in what police suspect was one of a planned wave of attacks.

Markets were also uncertain about U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to push ahead with policies after the disbandment of two high-profile business advisory councils over his remarks on violence in Virginia.

The dollar fell to a four-month low against the Japanese yen, which along with gold is often seen as a safe-haven in times of political and economic turmoil. Meanwhile, world stocks fell for a second straight session as investors piled into German and U.S. Treasury bonds.

"The discord coming out of Washington could prove supportive for gold as well, as this could pressure the dollar further, just as the Fed is casting fresh doubts about its (interest) rate timetable," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir. Policymakers in Europe and the U.S. expressed concerns about unwinding monetary stimulus too soon.

Gold is sensitive to rising interest rates because they push up bond yields, increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while tending to strengthen the dollar, in which gold is priced. Spot gold faces resistance at $1,291 an ounce and could hover below this level or retrace towards support at $1,271 again, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.19 percent to $16.96 an ounce, having touched a two-month high of $17.25.

Platinum was up 0.1 percent at $973.50, on track for a third straight week of gains.

Palladium touched a 16-year high of $934 before giving back some gains, trading 0.24 percent down at $923.75 an ounce, on course for a weekly gain of about 4 percent.