February 12, 2019 / 1:37 AM / 10 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold inches down as trade worries boost dollar

Feb 12 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased on Tuesday as investors sought safety in the dollar from a long-drawn U.S.-China trade war and its impact on the global economic growth.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,306.51 per ounce, as of 0102 GMT, after falling 0.4 percent in the previous session.

* U.S. gold futures fell 0.1 percent to $1,310.20 per ounce.

* Investors are now focussed on the new round of trade talks between China and the United States that started in Beijing on Monday.

* These talks come as the world’s two largest economies try to hammer out a deal before a March 1 deadline, after which U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

* Sino-U.S. trade tensions have rattled financial markets since last year and also boosted the appeal of the U.S. dollar as a safe-haven.

* The dollar index was steady at 97.08, after advancing 0.4 percent in the previous session in its largest percentage gain since Jan. 24.

* A stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

* Meanwhile, top four Democratic and Republican congressional negotiators on border security funding resumed talks on Monday, with the possibility of another partial U.S. government shutdown looming if they fail to reach a deal by a Friday deadline.

* The British parliament is set to hold a debate on Brexit on Feb. 14 where Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking changes to her deal with Brussels after it was rejected by a record majority in parliament last month.

* Italy’s ruling League party has drafted a law proposal which would eventually allow the government to sell the country’s gold reserves through a change to the constitution.

* Russia’s central bank will pay less than an industry benchmark for gold that it buys on the domestic market, it said on Monday.

* Kazakhstan raised its gold holdings by 2.81 tonnes in January, according to International Monetary Fund data.

* China’s gold reserves were at 59.94 million fine troy ounce at end-January versus 59.56 million troy ounce at end-December, according to central bank data.

* Venezuela’s most successful financial operations in recent years have not taken place on Wall Street, but in primitive gold-mining camps in the nation’s southern reaches.

* Russia’s largest gold producer, Polyus, on Monday reported a 20 percent jump in fourth-quarter adjusted net profit to $291 million compared with last year, lifted by increased production and rising sales of the metal.

* If the adage “follow the money” is to be applied to commodities, then currently the place looking most attractive to investors is gold mining. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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