Top Stories
Top Stories

PRECIOUS-Gold rises above $1,400 on cenbank stimulus hopes, U.S.-Iran tensions

Sethuraman N R


* SPDR posts best one-day pct gain in nearly 11 years

* Speculators increase net longs in COMEX gold

* Spot gold prices are up 7.7% so far this month (Recasts, adds comment, updates prices)

June 24 (Reuters) - Gold rose above $1,400 on Monday, hovering near a six-year high touched in the previous session, driven by dovish signals from global central banks and increased tensions between the United States and Iran.

Spot gold was up 0.6% at $1,406.83 per ounce as of 0959 GMT, heading for a fifth straight session of gains. Gold prices hit $1,410.78 on Friday, their highest since Sept. 4, 2013.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.7% to $1,410.20 an ounce.

"The weakness of the U.S. dollar, gold's technical picture and interest from investors themselves have become self-sustaining factors, especially after the massive inflows into the gold exchange-traded funds (ETF)," Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said, adding that tensions between the United States and Iran also supported gold.

Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, rose 4.57% on Friday from a day earlier, in its biggest one-day percentage gain since September 2008.

The U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank last week hinted that they were open to ease policies to counter a global economic slowdown, exacerbated by global trade tensions.

Helping gold's appeal, the dollar fell to a three-month low against a basket of currencies on bets the U.S. central bank would start lowering interest rates as early as next month.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he was not seeking war with Tehran, but tensions remain high between the longtime foes, with Washington due to announce "significant" sanctions on Iran on Monday.

Gold prices have risen 7.7% so far this month, and more than $70 just over the past one week.

Hedge funds and money managers boosted their bullish stance in COMEX gold in the week to June 18 and speculators switched to a net long in silver futures and options, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday.

Gold holding above the psychologically important $1,400 level is a positive signal of consolidation after last weeks rally, said Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst at ActivTrades.

"The gold rally pushed silver up too, but the scenario in this case is less strong, as prices keep bouncing on the resistance area at $15.5."

Silver edged 0.1% higher to $15.37 per ounce and platinum was up 0.9% at $813.82.

Palladium rose 1.1% to $1,516.03 an ounce.

The market's focus now shifts to whether Washington and Beijing can resolve their trade dispute at a summit in Japan this week of leaders from the Group of 20 leading world economies. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens)