Gold prices firm on fund inflows; China, Ukraine worries support
Singapore: Gold was steady near USD 1,340 an ounce on Tuesday as fears of an economic slowdown in China and Ukraine`s geopolitical crisis keep investors seeking safe-haven bullion.
In a sign of investor confidence in the precious metal amid global uncertainties, the world`s biggest bullion-backed exchange-traded fund saw its largest inflow in a month on Monday.
Spot gold had inched up 0.07 percent to USD 1,339.45 an ounce by 0024 GMT.
A pro-Russian force opened fire in seizing a Ukrainian military base in Crimea on Monday and NATO announced reconnaissance flights along its eastern frontiers as confrontation around the Black Sea peninsula showed no sign of easing.
February`s shock fall in Chinese exports has cast a shadow over the global outlook, even as analysts blamed much of the drop on the Lunar New Year holidays.
SPDR Gold Trust said its holdings rose 7.50 tonnes to 812.70 tonnes on Monday - the biggest inflow since February 13.
Barrick Gold Corp said it plans to sell about 13.5 percent of its holdings in its majority-owned subsidiary African Barrick Gold .
A public spat emerged on Monday between South Africa`s labour mediator and the Chamber of Mines over the former`s handling of talks to end an almost seven-week strike in the platinum sector, further dashing hopes of any breakthrough.