Gold hits five-month peak on rising geopolitical worries

Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,291 per ounce as of 0239 GMT after hitting its highest since early November at $1,295.42

Gold slipped on Wednesday as the United States dollar recovered a bit from a three-week low hit in the previous session, but geopolitical concerns about North Korea and nervousness ahead of the French presidential election lent support to the safe-haven asset. The rising gold prices is considered to be implication of political escalation around North Korea. USA gold futures were 0.6 per cent lower at $1,288.80.

Gold futures continue to push higher, ending at their highest since November 4 amid concerns that tensions between North Korea and the USA may soon escalate.

Gold for June delivery climbed 0.3% to $1,291.90 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, closing at the highest since November 4.

May silver SIK7, -0.07% fell 8 cents, or 0.4%, at $18.195 an ounce.

"As (gold) didn't manage to get through $US1,300 and due to light volumes during (holiday-related) European hours, gold consolidated until weaker US economic data gave the yellow metal another push", said Giovanni Staunovo, commodity analyst for UBS Wealth Management.

In France, investors remained nervous ahead of the first round of the presidential election on Sunday.

The dollar dipped to a five-month low against the yen early on Monday.

The gold price against a basket of foreign currencies is now approaching the highs reached in 2011.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.77 percent to 848.92 tonnes on Thursday from 842.41 tonnes on Wednesday.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence reassured Japan of American commitment to reining in North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions on Tuesday, after warning that U.S. strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed the strength of its resolve.

Adding to these concerns, the USA military last week dropped the largest non-nuclear device it has ever used in combat on a network of caves and tunnels used by Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan.

Spot gold is expected to rise to US$1,303 per ounce as it has broken above a resistance at US$1,282, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao. A close at current trading levels would be the lowest for the contract in just over a week.

Gold was prevented from falling further as the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 109.63 points, or 0.53 percent, as of 1900 GMT.

Platinum edged up 0.1 per cent to US$972, while palladium dropped 0.4 per cent to US$791.80.

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