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Gold Eases, Palladium Investors Wary of Ukraine Conflict

  • Palladium eases from near 5-month peak
  • Gold dips after best session in four months
  • Palladium exposed to supply reductions from Russia- analyst

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Monday, as the U.S. dollar gained, with worries around the Russia-Ukraine conflict limiting losses of the safe-haven metal and keeping palladium traders on tenterhooks.

Spot gold was down 0.2% to $1,855.86 per ounce by 1030 GMT. On Friday, prices jumped the most since mid-October and hit their highest level since Nov. 19 at $1,865.15.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,853.70.

"Gold had a classic safe haven jump on Friday... (but) the problem with safe haven spikes is that they never really last for that long," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen.

"At this point, gold is taking a breather waiting for further news on the geopolitical front."

Russia might create a surprise pretext for an attack on Ukraine, the United States said on Sunday. However, Moscow denies any such plans and has accused the West of "hysteria", even as it has more than 100,000 troops massed near Ukraine.

"A modestly stronger dollar is marginally weighing on gold price today. We expect higher volatility in the near term, with prices driven by escalation or de-escalation news (on Ukraine)," UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.

The dollar gained 0.2%, while benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields edged higher, raising the opportunity cost of holding non-interest-paying gold.

Meanwhile, auto-catalyst metal palladium rose 0.2% to $2,310.31 per ounce, having hit a near five-month peak on Jan. 31.

"It looks like the percentage of palladium they (Russia) export as a percentage of the global production is pretty close to 50% and that obviously does make the metal extremely exposed to any temporary reductions in supplies from Russia should the conflict escalates from current levels," Hansen added.

Spot silver rose 0.5% to $23.69 per ounce, platinum fell 0.5% to $1,021.93.

Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

Source: Reuters

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