December 27, 2018 / 1:19 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold edges up but risk-on sentiment limits gains

BENGALURU, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched higher on Thursday amid concerns about global economic growth and a partial U.S. government shutdown, although a rebound in investor risk-appetite in the previous session limited gains.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,271.85 per ounce by 0102 GMT. In the previous session, the metal hit $1,279.06 an ounce, its highest since June 19.

* U.S. gold futures inched up 0.1 percent to $1,273.9 per ounce.

* The dollar held its overnight gains versus its peers on Thursday, bolstered by a surge in U.S. stocks and rising treasury yields overnight.

* The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged more than 1,000 points for the first time on Wednesday, leading a broad Wall Street rebound after a report that holiday sales were the strongest in years helped mollify concerns about the health of the economy.

* Sales in the 2018 U.S. holiday shopping season rose 5.1 percent to over $850 billion, the strongest in six years, according to a Mastercard report on Wednesday, as shoppers were encouraged by a robust economy and early discounts.

* Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said on Wednesday that U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s job was not in jeopardy. Just two days ago President Donald Trump described the Fed as the “only problem our economy has” as the central bank raises interest rates.

* A U.S. trade team will travel to Beijing the week of Jan. 7 to hold talks with Chinese officials, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing two people familiar with the matter.

* Trump said on Wednesday he is prepared to wait as long as it takes to get $5 billion from taxpayers for his U.S.-Mexico border wall, a demand that has triggered a partial shutdown of the federal government that is now in its fifth day.

* Oil surged on Wednesday, posting its strongest daily gain in more than two years in a partial rebound from steep losses that pushed crude benchmarks to lows not seen since 2017.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 2.05 percent to 790.02 tonnes on Wednesday from 774.14 tonnes on Monday.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0130 China Sales Turnover Nov 1330 U.S. Initial Jobless Claims 22 Dec 1500 U.S. Consumer Confidence Dec 1500 U.S. New Home sales- Units Nov (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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