March 27, 2019 / 1:44 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold gains on soft equities, U.S. data

March 27 (Reuters) - Gold inched up on Wednesday, after falling the most in nearly two weeks in the previous session, as share markets retreated on worries about a possible U.S. recession and weak data added to concerns about the economy.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,317.14 per ounce as of 0126 GMT, after registering its biggest one-day percentage decline since March 14 in the previous session.

* U.S. gold futures were also up about 0.1 percent at $1,316.80 an ounce.

* Asian shares slipped on Wednesday, giving up their small gains made in the previous day, as investors tried to come to terms with a sharp shift in U.S. bond markets and the implications for the world’s top economy.

* Though benchmark 10-year note yields were steady above their lowest level since December 2017, the yield curve was inverted by around four basis points. If it persists the inversion is seen as an indicator that a recession is likely in one to two years.

* U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in February as construction of single-family homes dropped to near a two-year low, while consumer confidence ebbed in March, offering more evidence of a sharp slowdown in economic activity early in the year.

* Germany’s 10-year bond yields held below zero percent, just above 2-1/2-year lows, on Tuesday, weighed down by fears of global economic slowdown and uncertainty about the impact of a potentially chaotic Brexit on the euro zone.

* President Donald Trump’s expected nominee for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Stephen Moore, said the U.S. central bank should immediately cut interest rates by half a percentage point, according to an interview with the New York Times on Tuesday.

* The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday failed to override Trump’s first veto, leaving in place the “national emergency” he declared last month to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall that Congress has not funded.

* British Prime Minister Theresa May will address her Conservative lawmakers on Wednesday, possibly to set out a timetable for her departure in a last throw of the dice to win support for her twice-rejected Brexit deal in parliament.

* China’s net gold imports in February via main conduit Hong Kong fell 13.6 percent from the previous month, as economic woes dented appetite in the world’s top bullion consumer.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.4 percent on Tuesday. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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