Gold inches up as dollar eases; surge in equities caps gains

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,293.15 per ounce by 0337 GMT, after touching its lowest since March 8 at $1,286.35 in the previous session.

Gold prices inched up on Monday as the dollar backed off three-week highs, but gains in the metal were limited as equities rose on signs of progress in the Sino-U.S. trade talks and upbeat Chinese economic data.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,293.15 per ounce by 0337 GMT, after touching its lowest since March 8 at $1,286.35 in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures were down about 0.1 percent at $1,297.90 an ounce.

The U.S. dollar slipped 0.1 percent against key rivals, after hitting its highest since March 11 on Friday, while Asian stocks rallied as positive Chinese factory data and signs of progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks supported sentiment.

“The most extreme part of the global growth slowdown panic has subsided a little bit and the Chinese data is responsible for that, but it is a single data point which should be backed by more data,” said Kyle Rodda, a market analyst with IG Markets in Melbourne.

“We are getting a lot of data from across the globe (this week) so the global growth story and the fears related to that will be tested in the very short term.”

Factory activity in China unexpectedly grew for the first time in four months in March, an official survey showed on Sunday, suggesting government stimulus measures may be starting to take hold in the world’s second-largest economy.

Market participants are now awaiting manufacturing PMI data from the United States and Europe and U.S. retail sales data later in the day.

“Though Asian PMIs have demonstrated for respite in the current term, we opine that a synchronized economic slowdown remains in place in lieu of weakness in both domestic and foreign demand,” Phillip Futures wrote in a note.

Investors are also keeping a close watch on the trade talks between the United States and China.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that trade talks with China were going very well, but cautioned that he would not accept anything less than a “great deal” after top trade officials from both the countries wrapped up two days of negotiations in Beijing.

The talks are set to resume later this week in Washington with a Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He.

Among other precious metals, spot palladium was up 0.1 percent at $1,384.70 an ounce, having declined more than 11 percent last week.

The auto-catalyst metal also posted its biggest monthly decline in March since December 2016.Silver was up 0.2 percent at $15.16 an ounce, while platinum rose about 1 percent to $853.38 an ounce.

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