Gold rises as Trump policy fuels safe haven demand

Gold rises as Trump policy fuels safe haven demand
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(Jan 31): Gold rose on Tuesday on increased safe haven demand as US President Donald Trump's tough stance on immigration rattled global markets, with prices finding further support from a weaker US dollar.

Traders were also awaiting the US Federal Reserve's two-day meeting on monetary policy starting on Tuesday for cues on US interest rate hikes.

Spot gold rose 0.4% to US$1,200.00 per ounce by 0307 GMT, while US gold futures edged up 0.5% to US$1,199.6.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was down 0.1% at 100.34.

Asian shares were on the defensive on Tuesday as stringent curbs on travel to the United States ordered by President Donald Trump brought home to investors that he is serious about putting his radical campaign pledges into action.

"There are talks that the ban could affect the tech and energy sectors and this suggests that there could be some growth challenges if the ban is prolonged, so the current risk aversion (driving gold markets) comes as no surprise," OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan said.

Spot gold may edge up to US$1,205 per ounce, as it has pierced resistance at US$1,197, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Traders were also eyeing a meeting of the US Fed on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Fed, which raised interest rates in December, has signaled as many as three rate rises in 2017.

Higher rates could mean a higher US currency, which makes US-dollar-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies, potentially dampening demand.

"The market sentiment is for the Fed to stay pat in the upcoming meeting," Gan said.

In other precious metals, spot silver was up 0.2%, at US$17.14 per ounce, while platinum edged up by 0.5%, to US$990.30.

Palladium rose 0.7%, to US$745.40 per ounce.