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PRECIOUS-Gold hits 9-1/2-month high as North Korea tensions escalate

* Spot gold expected to rise to $1,337/oz - technicals

* Silver hits near 3-month high, platinum at near six-month high

(Updates prices and adds paragraph on SPDR gold holdings) BENGALURU, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose for a third straight session on Tuesday to their highest since November as mounting geopolitical tensions over a new North Korean missile launch stoked demand for safe-haven assets and weighed heavily on the dollar and equities.

Spot gold was up 0.6 percent at $1,317.47 per ounce,

as of 0627 GMT, after earlier hitting $1,322.33, its highest since Nov. 9. Gold gained 1.4 percent in the previous session in its biggest one-day percentage rise since mid-May.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.6

percent to $1,323.00 per ounce. South Korea and Japan said the missile North Korea launched early on Tuesday landed in Pacific waters east of Hokkaido after flying over the northern Japanese island, in a sharp escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula. "North Korea's missiles over the Japanese Hokkaido islands obviously fueled buying for the flight for safety kind of money including the Japanese yen and gold," said Yuichi Ikemizu, Tokyo branch manager at ICBC Standard Bank. The news saw equities plunging and the yen touching four-month highs against the dollar. Geopolitical risks can boost demand for safe-haven assets such as gold which is considered a good store of value during volatility in other markets. Spot gold is expected to rise to $1,337 per ounce, as it has cleared a resistance at $1,312, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao. "Since it broke the $1,300 resistance, I think the market really changed," Ikemizu said. "I don't think gold will be going back to $1,200 anymore... there's more bullish factors in this market." The metal was also drawing support from uncertainty surrounding President Donald Trump's administration in the U.S. after his remarks raised fears of a government shutdown last week. Trump on Monday said he hoped a government shutdown would not be necessary over his demand that the U.S. Congress fund his proposed wall along the southern border with Mexico.

Meanwhile, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world's

largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 1.1 percent to 814.36 tonnes on Monday.

Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.4 percent

to $17.48 per ounce. Earlier in the session, it hit $17.56, its highest since early June.

Platinum gained 0.3 percent to $989.60 per ounce,

after marking its highest since early March at $994.10, early in the day.

Palladium climbed 0.7 percent higher to $939.50 an

ounce, trading within sight of its 16-1/2-year high of $940.50 hit on Friday.

(Reporting by Apeksha Nair; additional reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)