April 29, 2019 / 1:54 AM / in 21 days

PRECIOUS-Gold near 1-wk high as soft U.S. inflation data dents dollar

April 29 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Monday, hovering near a more-than one week high touched in the previous session after the dollar fell as investors focused on soft U.S. inflation data that overshadowed strong GDP numbers.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was steady at $1,285.59 per ounce at 0123 GMT, having hit its highest since April 16 at $1,288.59 in the previous session.

* U.S. gold futures were also firm at $1,287.70 an ounce.

* The dollar fell against a basket of currencies on Friday to snap three days of gains, pressured by soft inflation data from the United States.

* Calm settled over Asian currency markets on Monday as Japan kicked off a week of holidays, giving investors an extra excuse to sit on their hands ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting and U.S. jobs numbers.

* Asian equity markets rose on Monday morning after an acceleration in U.S. economic growth in the first quarter lifted the S&P 500 index to a record closing high, but less upbeat aspects of the U.S. GDP report may limit the day’s upside.

* U.S. economic growth accelerated in the first quarter, but the burst in growth was driven by a smaller trade deficit and the largest accumulation of unsold merchandise since 2015, temporary boosters that are seen weighing on the economy later this year.

* Excluding trade, inventories and government spending, the U.S. economy grew at only a 1.3 percent rate in the first quarter, the slowest since the second quarter of 2013.

* Hedge funds and money managers increased their bearish wagers on COMEX gold in the week to April 23, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.16 percent to 746.69 tonnes on Friday from 747.87 tonnes on Thursday.

* Even as the lift from optimism over prospects for U.S.-China trade detente shows signs of wearing off for the wider U.S. stock market, upbeat sentiment around China’s economy could bolster shares of materials companies.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

* 0900 Euro Zone Consumer Confid. Final April

* 1230 USA Consumption, Adjusted March (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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