May 22, 2019 / 1:29 AM / 6 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds near 2-week low on firm dollar ahead of Fed minutes

May 22 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Wednesday after falling to a more than two-week low in the previous session, as a stronger dollar dented demand for bullion ahead of the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest meeting.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold edged down 0.1% to $1,273.96 per ounce at 0114 GMT. In the previous session the metal fell to $1,268.97, its lowest since May 3.

* U.S. gold futures were unchanged at $1,273.60 an ounce.

* The dollar hovered near a four-week high on Wednesday, supported by higher U.S. yields, which rose overnight after the United States eased trade restrictions on Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd .

* A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

* Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said on Tuesday that Beijing was ready to resume trade talks with Washington, but blamed the U.S. side for frequently "changing its mind" on tentative deals to end U.S.-China trade disputes.

* Asian stocks on the other hand were on shaky ground, as earlier relief over Washington's temporary relaxation of curbs against China's Huawei failed to offset deeper worries about trade frictions between the two largest economies.

* Meanwhile, the Fed minutes are expected to provide insights into the May 1 central bank meeting in which policymakers decided to keep interest rates steady and signalled little appetite to adjust them any time soon.

* On Monday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said it was premature to ascertain the impact of trade and tariffs on monetary policy.

* Economic growth in China and the United States could be 0.2%-0.3% lower on average by 2021 and 2022 if the two countries do not row back on tit-for-tat tariffs in their dispute that has dampened the global economic outlook, the OECD said on Tuesday.

* Japanese exports fell for a fifth month in April in a sign of the growing economic strain exerted by the Sino-U.S. trade war, but a pickup in business sentiment and machinery orders shows companies remain optimistic about the future.

* Elsewhere, SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.48 percent to 739.69 tonnes on Tuesday from 736.17 tonnes on Monday.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

* 0830 UK CPI YY April

* 1800 U.S. FOMC will release the minutes from its

April 30-May 1 policy meeting (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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