February 5, 2019 / 11:20 AM / 4 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steadies above one-week low as dollar, stocks gain

* Dollar index hovers near 1-week peak

* Stocks sizzle at 2-month highs

* Trump State of Union Address awaited

* SPDR Gold holdings fall for second session (Updates prices, adds comment)

By Swati Verma

Feb 5 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Tuesday, holding close to a near one-week low touched in the previous session, as a stronger dollar and renewed interest for riskier assets dampened demand.

Spot gold inched up about 0.1 percent to $1,313.51 per ounce by 1310 GMT, having hit its weakest since Jan. 29 at $1,308.20 in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,317.90 an ounce.

World stocks extended their robust start to the year, making non-yielding bullion a less attractive investment, while the dollar was on course for a fourth straight session of gains.

“The dollar is slightly stronger. After the strong U.S. jobs numbers, there’s really no need for a strong shift towards safe havens, and that sentiment is probably capping prices for the time being,” ING analyst Warren Patterson said.

While there have been plenty of concerns on the general health of the global economy, last Friday’s strong U.S. jobs data could support expectations of further interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve, he added.

Gold rose to its highest since late April at $1,326.30 last week, after the Fed kept interest rates steady and said it would be patient on further hikes amid a cloudy outlook for the U.S. economy due to global growth concerns and the U.S.-China trade dispute.

However, the solid U.S. jobs data since then has allayed concerns of an immediate slowdown in the U.S. economy.

The central bank may need to raise interest rates a bit further if the economy does well, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Monday.

Gold tends to fall out of favour when interest rates rise.

On the technical front, gold is likely to be stuck between $1,310 and $1,326 this week, and as long as it doesn’t break below $1,300, we are in positive territory, said Afshin Nabavi senior vice president at MKS SA.

Attention has now turned to U.S. President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address which could hint at progress in U.S.-China trade talks.

“I think gold should see itself through $1,360, a strong resistance, to get absolute confirmation that it is in a bull run,” said Ross Norman, chief executive at Sharps Pixley.

Meanwhile, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, dropped 0.5 percent to 813.29 tonnes on Monday. Holdings have fallen for a second straight session.

Among other precious metals, palladium gained 0.1 percent to $1,365.87 per ounce.

Silver was down 0.4 percent at $15.80, while platinum slipped 0.1 percent to $816.55. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan and Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith and Susan Fenton)

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