Investing.com – Gold prices struggled to capitalise on dollar weakness as fears of a wider conflict in Syria in the wake of recent U.S.-led military intervention receded, denting safe-haven demand.
Gold futures for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $2.80, or 0.21%, to $1,350.70 a troy ounce.
Gold struggled for direction as gains on the back of dollar weakness were offset by easing fears of further conflict in Syria after the U.S. and Russia avoided any direct conflict following U.S.-led airstrikes on Saturday.
The weakness in safe-haven demand comes despite U.S. President Donald Trump ratcheting up the pressure on the both China and Russia, asserting that they were playing the “currency devaluation game,” declaring it unacceptable in the wake of increasing U.S. interest rates.
Reports that the Trump Administration were in no rush to impose a fresh round of sanctions against Russia, also kept lid on demand for safe-haven gold, limiting upward momentum in the yellow metal.
“We are considering additional sanctions on Russia and a decision will be made in the near future,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
This is in sharp contrast to Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley's announcement on Sunday that U.S. planned sanctions against Moscow will "be coming down" on Monday.
Sentiment on gold prices, meanwhile, appeared less positive as data Friday showed bullish bets on the yellow metal declined.
CFTC COT data showed money managers reduced their net long positions in gold futures to 155,400 lots from 166,600 lots for the week ended April 10.
In other precious metal trade, silver futures rose 0.28% to $16.71 a troy ounce, while platinum futures fell 0.06% to $932.80 an ounce.
Copper rose 0.88% to $3.10.