May 8, 2019 / 1:22 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold firms as Sino-U.S. trade concerns dampen risk appetite

May 8 (Reuters) - Gold prices firmed on Wednesday as renewed concerns on U.S.-China trade dispute upset risk appetite, boosting demand for safe-haven assets.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,285.76 per ounce as of 0109 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures edged 0.1 percent higher to $1,287.40 an ounce.

* Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington for two days of trade talks this week, China said on Tuesday, setting up a last-ditch bid for a deal that would avoid a sharp increase in tariffs on Chinese goods ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump.

* Asian equities tracked Wall Street’s slide on Wednesday as the latest developments in the U.S.-China trade conflict fanned fresh fears about global growth, driving support for safe-haven government bonds.

* Growing fears about the impact on global growth from a worsening U.S.-Sino trade conflict kept the Japanese yen, which like gold is also a safe-haven asset, near its highest since late March.

* Indians could buy at least 10 percent more gold during the annual Hindu and Jain holy festival of Akshaya Tritiya than a year ago, industry officials said, as a recent dip in prices prompted consumers to increase purchases.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.04 percent to 739.94 tonnes on Tuesday from 739.64 tonnes on Monday.

* International sanctions could be reimposed on Iran if it reneges on commitments under its nuclear deal, sources at the French presidency said on Tuesday, after Tehran said it would scale back its compliance a year after Washington pulled out.

* Russia’s Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel), the world’s largest palladium and refined nickel producer, says it expects palladium demand to exceed supply for another three to four years.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

* 0600 Germany Industrial Output MM March

* N/A China Exports YY April

* N/A China Imports YY April

* N/A China Trade Balance USD April (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

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