BENGALURU, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower on Wednesday as Asian equities won support on the first day of the new year from gains in U.S. stock futures, pointing to an improvement in risk appetite.
* Spot gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,279.31 per ounce at 0120 GMT. The metal was not far off Monday’s more than six-month high of $1,284.09.
* U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,281 per ounce.
* The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was marginally lower.
* U.S. President Donald Trump invited Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to a border security briefing at the White House as the federal government remained partially shut down over his demand to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
* Asian shares crept cautiously higher on the first trading day of the new year as early gains in U.S. stock futures spoke of some improvement in risk appetite.
* History shows that cooperation is the best choice for both China and the United States, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Trump in a congratulatory message on Tuesday to mark 40 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations.
* North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he is ready to meet Trump again anytime to achieve their common goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but warned he may have to take an alternative path if U.S. sanctions and pressure against the country continued.
* British Prime Minister Theresa May urged lawmakers to back her Brexit deal, promising that it would allow the country to “turn a corner” and let the government focus on solving domestic problems such as housing and a skill shortage.
* U.S. Mint sales of American Eagle gold and silver coins dropped to their lowest in 11 years during 2018, U.S. Mint data showed on Monday, as investors favored higher-yielding assets, despite global stock and bond market volatility late in the year. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)