Investor jitters over looming geopolitical risk events supported demand for safe-haven assets

gold - Gold prices held steady just below their strongest level in seven months in European trade on Wednesday, as investor jitters over looming geopolitical risk events supported demand for safe-haven assets.

gold futures were at $1,294.93 a troy ounce by 2:55AM ET (0655GMT), down $2.50, or around 0.2%. Meanwhile,spot gold was at $1,292.40.

Gold prices scored a third-straight session of gain Tuesday after hitting its highest level since November 9 at $1,298.80, as investors sought safe-haven assets ahead of potentially market-moving events later this week.

Also on the Comex, silver futures dipped 5.2 cents, or about 0.3%, to $17.65 a troy ounce. It rose to $17.74 in the prior session, a level not seen since April 25.

Market players will pay close attention to former FBI director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Investors are fearful that the Trump administration may be further damaged by any revelations that could emerge when Comey testifies about Russia's alleged involvement in the U.S. election.

Traders were also wary ahead of Britain's general election, which is also set for Thursday.

While pollsters still expect British Prime Minister Theresa May will win the most seats in the election, a tight result could throw the country into political deadlock just days before formal Brexit talks with the European Union are due to begin on June 19.

The risk-off mood was further compounded by escalating tensions in the Middle East, where Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations severed their ties with Qatar earlier in the week, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Gold is often seen as an alternative currency in times of global economic uncertainty and a refuge from financial risk.

Reduced expectations for aggressive U.S. rate hikes from the Federal Reserve in the second half of this year further boosted the appeal of the yellow metal.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was little changed at 96.52 in London morning trade. It fell to 96.46 on Tuesday, the weakest level since November 9.

Elsewhere in metals trading,

Copper futures slumped 0.9 cents to $2.538 a pound.