March 28, 2018 / 1:42 AM / 4 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices edge higher on softer U.S. dollar

    March 28 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday
buoyed by a softer dollar, a day after the yellow metal recorded
its biggest one-day percentage fall in nearly two weeks as
U.S.-China trade spat concerns eased.

    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        was up 0.2 percent at $1,346.96 per ounce
at 0135 GMT. Prices dropped 0.6 percent on Tuesday, their
biggest one-day percentage decline since March 15.
    * U.S. gold futures         for April delivery rose 0.3
percent to $1,346.20 per ounce..
    * Against a basket of six other major currencies, the dollar
index        was down 0.1 percent at 89.276.       
    * Asian shares pulled back on Wednesday as Wall Street was
knocked hard on concerns about tighter regulations on the tech
industry.            
    * The United States sparred with China at the World Trade
Organization on Tuesday over the legality of U.S. tariffs in
response to alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property. 
            
    * The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Raphael
Bostic, waded into a potentially contentious debate at the U.S.
central bank on Tuesday over whether to replace its 2 percent
inflation target, saying he favours a new and nearly untested
monetary policy strategy known as price-level targeting.
            
    * Underlying inflation in the euro zone may remain lower
than expected even if growth is robust, so the European Central
Bank needs to remain patient in removing stimulus, Governing
Council member Erkki Liikanen said on Tuesday.             
    * Economic sentiment in the 19 countries sharing the euro
slipped for the third month in a row in March, data from the
European Commission showed on Tuesday, suggesting economic
growth in the bloc was not as steady as previously thought. 
            
    * British Prime Minister Theresa May called on Tuesday for a
"long-term response" by the West to the security threat from
Russia as NATO followed member states in expelling Russian
diplomats over the poisoning of a double agent in England. 
            
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.14 percent to
846.12 tonnes on Tuesday from 847.30 tonnes on Monday. 
            
    * China's net gold imports via main conduit Hong Kong
plunged 35.5 percent in February from the previous month, data
showed on Tuesday.             
    * Bullion investors, miners and makers of coins will help
drive the fifth straight annual increase in total global gold
investment in 2018, CPM Group said in its Gold Yearbook 2018 on
Tuesday, citing geopolitical tensions and fears that the
bubbling U.S. economic expansion will end in a 2019 recession. 
            

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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