September 4, 2018 / 1:03 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold inches down as trade worries keep dollar firm

BENGALURU, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Gold inched down on Tuesday as the dollar remained firm near a one-week high on the back of intensifying global trade tensions, but analysts said growing emerging market worries could benefit the metal.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,199.40 an ounce at 0049 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,206 an ounce.

* Markets are nervous about the escalating trade conflict between the United States and China, after U.S. President Donald Trump said last week that he wanted to move ahead on a plan to impose tariffs on Chinese imports worth $200 billion.

* Trump said on Saturday there was no need to keep Canada in the North American Free Trade Agreement and warned Congress not to meddle with the trade negotiations.

* Growing turbulence in Argentina once again focused global attention on emerging markets. On Monday, Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced new taxes on exports and steep cuts to government spending in what he termed “emergency” measures to balance next year’s budget.

* Turkey’s central bank signalled on Monday it would take steps to combat “significant risks” to price stability, comments seen as hinting at interest rate hikes.

* Gold prices have fallen about 8 percent so far this year amid rising U.S. interest rates, international trade disputes and the Turkish currency crisis, with investors preferring the dollar as a safe-haven.

* The dollar consolidated near a one-week high against a basket of currencies on Monday as tensions around global trade and a continued selloff in emerging markets fuelled demand for the greenback.

* The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was steady at 95.182

* Hedge funds and money managers cut their net short positions in COMEX gold contracts in the week to Aug. 28 for the first time in more than a month, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

* South Africa’s Public Investment Corp (PIC) said it will support a takeover of platinum producer Lonmin, by precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater.

* Sales of gold products by the Perth Mint in August rose from a month earlier to their highest since October 2017, as lower bullion prices attracted buying, the mint said on Monday.

* The historic run-up in world shares will continue through 2019, but the outlook for almost half of the major bourses polled by Reuters has slipped, with many now only expected to recoup losses from this year’s sell-off. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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