April 15, 2019 / 3:49 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold dips to 1-week low as equities gain, slowdown fears recede

* Gold may revisit its April 4 low of $1,280.59 - analyst

* Asian shares near 9-month high

* Gold specs raise net longs in week to April 9 - CFTC (Updates prices)

By Arijit Bose

April 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell to a more than one-week low on Monday as solid Chinese data and positive signs on the U.S.-China trade front boosted equities and allayed concerns about a global economic slowdown.

Spot gold edged 0.2 percent lower to $1,286.92 per ounce as of 0740 GMT, having touched $1,286.15, its lowest since April 5, earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures fell 0.4 percent to $1,289.70 an ounce.

“Gold prices have fallen because of improving macro-economic data which is favouring risk-taking,” said Margaret Yang, a market analyst with CMC Markets, Singapore.

Among factors weighing on gold prices are better-than- expected credit and export growth figures from China, a positive kick-off to the earnings season in the United States and hopes of a U.S.-China trade-spat resolution, Yang added.

Asian shares neared nine-month highs after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he hoped U.S.-China trade talks were approaching a final lap and amid strong Chinese export data.

Gold, which is usually considered a hedge against economic and political uncertainty, suffers along with the Japanese yen when risk sentiment revives.

The yen hovered near its lowest level this year on more signs of stabilisation in the Chinese economy.

Chinese customs data showed on Friday that exports for the country rose 14.2 percent from the previous year in March, the strongest growth in five months.

The yellow metal may now revisit its April 4 low of $1,280.59 per ounce, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

A stronger U.S. economic picture of late has also dampened the appeal of the non-yielding metal with upbeat U.S. reports on Friday showing import prices surpassed expectations and consumer sentiment seen stabilizing.

“The U.S. Federal Reserve hit the brakes hard in first quarter but as data has improved rate cut chances are lower,” Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.

“If retail sales (due later this week) outperform it would start building a case for an interest rate lift later this year despite the Fed’s dovish turn in January.”

However, speculators increased their bullish wagers in COMEX gold in the week to April 9, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

In other metals, increased inflows were observed into platinum, totalling $0.5 billion, while palladium saw outflows for a seventh consecutive week, analysts at Societe Generale wrote in a note.

Spot platinum was unchanged at $886.30 per ounce whereas palladium fell 0.3 percent to $1,367.67 per ounce.

Silver was 0.1 percent lower at $14.94 an ounce. (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

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