Gold softens slightly, ETF holdings inch up

gold-barGold prices softened on Monday but remained within sight of a two-month high above $960 touched in the previous session, retaining their sheen in the face of a weaker dollar.

Crude oil’s rise to a six-month high has also benefited gold, which is often bought both as an alternative to the dollar and as an inflation hedge.

Gold markets showed little initial reaction to a report by South Korea’s Yonhap news agency that quoted a ruling party official as saying North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Monday……

……Gold was at $954.85 per ounce at 0601 GMT (2:01 p.m. EDT), down 0.1 percent from New York’s notional close of $955.85.

On Friday, bullion touched a high of $961.30 an ounce, its highest since March 20.

“Gold has most certainly been driven by recent weakness in the dollar and that looks set to continue for the time being,” said Darren Heathcote of Investec Australia in Sydney……

……The world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, the SPDR Gold Trust, said its holdings rose to 1,118.76 tonnes as of May 22, up 13.14 tonnes or 1.2 percent from the previous business day.

Holdings hit a record high of 1,127.68 tonnes in early April.

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