April 2, 2019 / 10:28 AM / 4 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds near four-week low as equities, dollar climb

    * SPDR gold holdings posted biggest fall in a month on
Monday
    * Dollar hovers near three-week highs
    * GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

 (Updates prices)
    By Sumita Layek
    April 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices were close to their lowest
in around four weeks on Tuesday as robust economic data from the
United States and China tempered concerns of a global slowdown,
boosting the dollar and riskier assets.
    Spot gold        was up 0.1 percent at $1,288.79 per ounce
at 1148 GMT, having touched its lowest since March 7 at
$1,284.76 earlier. U.S. gold futures        was unchanged at
$1,293.80 an ounce.
    "Gold continues to struggle with the bullishness we are
seeing across the other sectors ... Today, the primary driver is
the continuous strength of the dollar," said Saxo Bank analyst
Ole Hansen.
    "(Global slowdown) concerns are most certainly easing. It's
too early to say they are gone but they have eased, and with
that, also the need to have protection."
    Gold is seen as a hedge against political and economic
uncertainty.  
    World stocks hovered just under a six-month high, supported
by strong manufacturing data from the United States and China,
while the dollar index        rose to a three-week high against
a basket of rival currencies, making bullion expensive for
holders of other currencies.                   
    Investors are also keeping a close watch on Sino-U.S. trade
negotiations, set to resume later this week in Washington with a
Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He.
    Indicating investor sentiment, holdings in the world's
largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust      ,
fell 1.5 percent on Monday, their biggest one-day percentage
decline in a month.          
    The $1,275-80 level remains the key area of attention and
break below that could signal a deeper correction, Saxo Bank's
Hansen said.
    Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May will chair a
five-hour cabinet meeting on Tuesday in an attempt to plot a
course out of the Brexit maelstrom as she comes under pressure
to either leave the European Union without a deal or call an
election.             
    "Though gold prices have struggled in lieu of competing
influences, increasing signs of economic weakness will remain
supportive towards haven appeal in 2019," Phillip Futures said
in a note.
    Among other precious metals, spot palladium        was down
0.8 percent at $1,409.40 an ounce. Silver        slipped 0.6
percent to $15.02 per ounce, while platinum        fell 0.1
percent to $846.59.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter
and David Evans)
  
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