February 11, 2019 / 3:16 AM / 5 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold slips as trade tensions buoy dollar; U.S-China talks in focus

* Spot gold may retest support at $1,299/oz - technicals

* U.S. border deal talks collapse, raises govt shutdown fears

* SPDR Gold holdings fell for five straight sessions last week (Updates prices)

By Sethuraman N R

Feb 11 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased on Monday as uncertainties around U.S-China trade tensions made the dollar buoyant, taking sheen off the metal’s safe-haven appeal even as investors were worried about a slowdown in global economic growth.

Spot gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,311.22 per ounce by 0733 GMT, while U.S. gold futures declined 0.3 percent to $1,314.90 per ounce.

A vigorous dollar is acting as an impediment to gold in the near term, said Benjamin Lu, an analyst with Singapore-based Phillip Futures, adding gold also faced a short-term negative bias in charts used by technical traders.

“But over a long-term perspective, we are quite bullish. Global growth worries, absence of positive signs in U.S-China trade negotiations and reduction in the euro-zone growth forecasts have laid a strong foundation for gold.”

Investors are looking ahead to trade talks between Beijing and Washington this week with a delegation of U.S. officials travelling to China for the next round of negotiations. U.S. President Donald Trump said last week that he had no plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline to achieve a trade deal.

Trump has vowed to increase U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports if the two sides cannot reach a deal by 12:01 a.m. (0501 GMT) on March 2.

Trade tensions between the world’s top two economies have rattled financial markets since last year and also boosted the appeal of the U.S. dollar as a safe-haven.

The dollar index touched its highest since Jan. 3, making the greenback-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The dollar’s strength comes despite the Federal Reserve pausing its multi-year rate hike cycle and dovish stance exhibited by several Fed officials.

Gold touched a nine-month high at $1,326.30 in late January on a dovish Fed, but prices have since seen a correction.

While gold is supported by the Fed’s policy, prices will likely remain range-bound until there is clarity on the trade front and U.S. government shutdown, OANDA analyst Edward Moya said in a note.

Talks on border security funding collapsed after Democratic and Republican lawmakers clashed over immigrant detention policy as they worked to avert another U.S. government shutdown.

Spot gold may retest a support at $1,299 per ounce, as suggested by its wave pattern and a projection analysis, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, saw outflows for five straight sessions last week.

Meanwhile, palladium fell 1.4 percent to $1,382.41 an ounce.

Spot silver dropped 0.5 percent to $15.75, while platinum was down 1.3 percent at $787.49 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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