April 9, 2018 / 1:07 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold slips as dollar firms, but trade war fears persist

    April 9 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell slightly in early Asian
trade on Monday as the dollar firmed on signs of easing tensions
between the United States and North Korea, although the bullion
was underpinned by continued concerns over U.S.-China trade
spat.  
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,331.51 per
ounce as of 0044 GMT. Prices on Friday hit a more than 2-week
low of $1,321.16 an ounce before closing 0.5 percent higher.
    * U.S. gold futures         eased 0.1 percent to $1,335.20
an ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against six other major currencies, was up 0.1 percent at
90.185.
    * North Korea has told the United States for the first time
that it is prepared to discuss the denuclearization of the
Korean Peninsula when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets
President Donald Trump, a U.S. official said on Sunday.
            
    * U.S. President Donald Trump predicted on Sunday that China
would take down its trade barriers, expressing optimism despite
escalating trade tensions between the world's two largest
economies that have roiled global markets in the past week.
            
    * The Federal Reserve will likely need to keep raising U.S.
interest rates to keep inflation under control, Fed Chairman
Jerome Powell said, adding that it was too soon to know if
rising trade tensions would hit the U.S. economy.             
    * Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans, one
of the Fed's most dovish policymakers, said Saturday that he is
optimistic inflation will reach the Fed's 2 percent goal and
that slow, gradual rate increases will be appropriate.
            
    * The U.S. economy created the fewest jobs in six months in
March as a boost from milder temperatures faded, but a pickup in
wage gains pointed to a tightening labour market, which should
allow the Federal Reserve to further raise interest rates this
year.             
    * Hedge funds and money managers slashed their net long
position in COMEX gold in the week to April 3 and boosted their
net short position in silver to a record, U.S. Commodity Futures
Trading Commission data showed on Friday.        
    * Six construction workers have been killed in an accident
at Newmont's         Ahafo gold mine in Ghana, forcing the
surface mine to suspend its operations, a local Newmont manager
said on Sunday.             
    * Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd         said on Friday 147,644
ounces was produced in Q1 2018, an increase of 13 percent from
the first quarter of 2017.            
    * Troy Resources Ltd          said on Monday that the
Karouni operation in Guyana has achieved a record gold
production of 21,703 ounces in the March 2018 quarter.
            
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
    0600  Germany            Trade data              February
    0830  Euro zone          Sentix index            April
    1400  U.S.               Employment trends       March

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
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