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Gold Slips off 8-Month high as Russia-Ukraine Worries Ease

  • European shares turn positive
  • Palladium slips 3%, on course for biggest daily dip since early Jan.

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices retreated from a multi-month peak on Tuesday while palladium slipped about 3% as news about some Russian troops near Ukraine returning to their bases drove a rebound in riskier assets.

Spot gold was down 0.8% at $1,854.50 per ounce by 1042 GMT, after hitting its highest level since June 11 at $1,879.48.

U.S. gold futures fell 0.7% to $1,857.

"What we saw late on Friday in the U.S. session and going into Monday was all driven by the fear of Russian invasion. So any sign that it's less likely, is weighing on gold pulling it back from those highs," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

In the absence of the geopolitical conflict, if bullion holds above the $1,850 level, it is a bullish signal, Erlam added.

Some troops in Russia's military districts adjacent to Ukraine were returning to their bases after completing drills, Russia's defence ministry was quoted as saying on Tuesday, driving a rebound in European equities.

Caught in gold's slipstream, spot silver fell 2% to $23.35 per ounce, platinum was down 0.9% to $1,018.85, and palladium dipped 2.4% to $2,303.11.

Palladium has seen sharp rallies of late, having logged its best month in 14 years in January, with analysts flagging a possible disruption to supply from key producer Russia if the Ukraine conflict escalates.

Market participants also kept a tab on the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate hike plans, with officials continuing to spar over how aggressively to begin upcoming rate increases at their March meeting, with a final inflation reading just ahead of the two-day session taking on potentially outsized importance. 

"The (FOMC minutes) will be gone over with a fine tooth comb to evaluate to what level there's a discord within the U.S. Federal Reserve on increasing rates," Ross Norman, an independent analyst said.

Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

Source: Reuters

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