May 9, 2019 / 1:54 AM / 16 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices firm as U.S.-China trade tensions heat up

May 9 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Thursday, with its appeal as a safe-haven for investors burnished by growing tensions ahead of key Sino-U.S. trade negotiations this week.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,281.61 per ounce at 0114 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures edged up 0.1 percent to $1,283.10 an ounce.

* U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that China "broke the deal" it had reached in earlier trade talks with the United States, and vowed not to back down on imposing new tariffs on Chinese imports unless Beijing "stops cheating our workers".

* Trump has threatened to raise tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at 12:01 a.m. ET (0401GMT) on Friday. Beijing has threatened to retaliate if tariffs rise, without elaborating on the details.

* Asian shares hit six-week lows in early trade on Thursday as growing concerns ahead of the latest U.S.-China trade talks fanned fresh concerns about the outlook for the global economy.

* The dollar hovered near a six-week low versus the yen early on Thursday, weighed down against its safe-haven Japanese peer as risk aversion gripped broader markets.

* A weaker dollar makes bullion less expensive for holders of other currencies.

* Also aggravating geopolitical concerns, Trump on Wednesday imposed new sanctions on Iran, targeting revenue from its exports of industrial metals. That was the latest salvo in tensions between Washington and Tehran over a 2015 international accord curbing the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme.

* This was soon after Iran announced that it was relaxing some restrictions on its nuclear programme, steps that stopped short of violating the deal with world powers for now, but threatening more action if countries do not shield it from U.S. sanctions.

* Barrick Gold Corp , the world's second-largest gold producer, on Wednesday said it remained open to new investments, even as it plans to shed $1.5 billion of less productive mines.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

* 0130 China PPI YY April

* 0130 China CPI YY April

* 1230 U.S. International Trade March

* 1230 U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Weekly

* 1230 France Reserve Assets Total April (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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