April 3, 2018 / 4:03 AM / 22 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold inches down, resurgent trade worries offer support

    * Asian stocks extend global selloff
    * SPDR Gold holdings rise 0.73 percent on Monday
    * Palladium on track for 8th session of losses

 (Updates prices)
    By Swati Verma
    BENGALURU, April 3 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched lower on
Tuesday after gaining more than 1 percent in the previous
session, even as a sell-off in global equities amid concerns
over a trade war between China and the United States continued
to support the safe-haven metal.
    Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,339.60 per
ounce, as of 0712 GMT. It climbed 1.3 percent on Monday in its
biggest one-day percentage gain in a week.
    U.S. gold futures         eased 0.3 percent to $1,343.60 an
ounce.
    Gold is down most likely due to Chinese investors getting
out of their positions ahead of holidays on Thursday and Friday,
said MKS trader Sam Laughlin.
    The three-day Qingming tomb-sweeping festival in China
starts on April 5.
    The risk-averse sentiment in the market, however,
underpinned bullion, often seen as an alternative investment
during times of political and financial uncertainty.
    "Gold prices at this moment serve for investors risk
aversion demand and gold for the immediate short term will be
well supported because of the volatility in the equity markets,"
said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung
Financial Group.
    "The previous $1,300 to $1,350 trading range for gold price
could gradually move up to $1,330 to $1,380 because of the risk
aversion."
    The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against six other major currencies, was down 0.2 percent at
89.893.       
    Asian shares slipped on Tuesday and the yen rose amid
escalating trade tensions and concerns about tech firms.
            
    "Trade war risk isn't about to leave anytime soon as China
escalation appears to have more bite than bark as there's
growing fear this could escalate," said Stephen Innes, head of
trading in Asia-Pacific for OANDA in Singapore.
    "As the market continues to go through the exercise of what
if, the fear of the unknown will continue to support Gold 
prices."
    The Trump administration this week will unveil a list of
advanced technology Chinese imports targeted for U.S. tariffs to
punish Beijing over technology transfer policies, a move
expected to intensify trade tensions between the world's two
largest economies.             
    Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.73 percent to 852.31
tonnes on Monday from 846.12 tonnes on Thursday.          
    Among other precious metals, spot silver        slid 0.4
percent to $16.55 an ounce, having risen 1.8 percent in the
previous session.
    Platinum        climbed 0.6 percent to $934.60 an ounce.
    Palladium        was on track for an eighth straight session
of declines, down 0.2 percent at $932.97 per ounce. Earlier in
the session, the metal hit $927.75, its lowest since Oct. 10.

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian
Schmollinger and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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