May 3, 2018 / 1:48 AM / 5 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices edge up ahead of U.S.-Sino trade talks

    BENGALURU, May 3(Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher for a
second session early on Thursday ahead of much awaited
U.S.-China trade talks, where a breakthrough deal is viewed as
highly unlikely.

    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        rose 0.4 percent to $1,309.51 per ounce
at 0142 GMT.    
    * U.S. gold futures         for June delivery rose 0.4
percent to $1,310.4 per ounce.
    * Tense U.S.-China trade talks between U.S. Treasury
Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are due
to kick off later on Thursday. 
    * The most likely outcome is an agreement to keep talking,
with U.S. President Donald Trump maintaining his threat to press
ahead with punitive tariffs on Chinese goods, trade experts say.
             
    * China would welcome a successful outcome from upcoming
trade talks with the U.S., but is fully prepared for all
outcomes and will not negotiate on core interests, a Chinese
government official said on Wednesday.             
    * Asian shares were subdued on Thursday ahead of the trade
talks, while the U.S. dollar consolidated recent bumper gains
after the Federal Reserve reaffirmed the outlook for more rate
hikes this year.                   
    * The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady on
Wednesday and expressed confidence that a recent rise in
inflation to near the U.S. central bank's target would be
sustained, leaving it on track to raise borrowing costs in June.
            
    * Trump has all but decided to withdraw from the 2015 Iran
nuclear accord by May 12 but exactly how he will do so remains
unclear, two White House officials and a source familiar with
the administration's internal debate said on Wednesday.
            
    * European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on
Wednesday the European Union will not accept threats in talks
with the United States to secure a permanent exemption from U.S.
import tariffs on steel and aluminium.             
    * A lawyer acting for nearly half a million South African
miners who contracted fatal lung diseases silicosis and
tuberculosis in mines said an out-of-court settlement was
expected to be signed on Thursday with gold companies implicated
in the issue.             
        
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)
     0900  Euro zone        Producer prices            Mar
     1230  U.S.             International trade        Mar
     1230  U.S.             Weekly jobless claims 
     1400  U.S.             Factory orders             Mar
     1400  U.S.             ISM non-manufacturing PMI  Apr

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by Richard
Pullin)
  
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