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Gold hovers around one-year high on concern over North Korea's nuclear posturing

  • Palladium is off its highest prices since Feb. 2001.
  • Tensions continued to simmer on the Korean Peninsula.
Gold
Source: World Gold Council

Gold rose slightly on Tuesday as prices remain underpinned by safe-haven demand because of continued concern over North Korea's nuclear posturing.

Spot gold was up 0.51 percent at $1,341.08 an ounce, trading near a one-year high. U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled 1 percent higher at $1,344.50 an ounce.

Holdings in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Shares, rose on Friday to help underpin prices.

Much of gold's recent strength can be attributed to the flight to assets perceived as being at less risk from geopolitical uncertainty that has been stoked up by events in the Korean peninsula. South Korea said an agreement with the United States to scrap a weight limit on its warheads would help it to respond to the threat from North Korea after Pyongyang conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test two days ago.

Meanwhile, North Korea has been observed moving what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) towards its west coast, South Korea's Asia Business Daily reported on Tuesday.

Yet stock markets in Europe bounced back on Tuesday as traders showed reluctance to price in the tail risks on every possible bad outcome and instead focused on the more prosaic but upbeat global economic picture. A recovery in the global economy is negative for gold because it raises expectations for interest rate increases, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets and boost the dollar, in which gold is priced.

Among other precious metals, silver was 0.12 percent higher at $17.91 an ounce, while platinum was down 0.4 percent at $1,003 an ounce.

Palladium declined 1.31 percent to $964.20 after reaching its highest since February 2001 at $1,001 in the previous session.