PRECIOUS-Gold prices dip as fears of widening trade war ease

Sept 30 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched down in early trade on Monday as concerns over an escalation in the U.S.-China trade war eased, boosting the dollar.


* Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,494.30 per ounce, as of 0104 GMT. In the previous session, prices fell to their lowest since Sept. 18 at $1,486.60.

* U.S. gold futures were 0.2% lower at $1,503.3 per ounce.

* China hopes Beijing and Washington will resolve their trade dispute “with a calm and rational attitude”, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said on Sunday, ahead of talks in two weeks between the two sides.

* President Donald Trump’s administration is considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges, three sources briefed on the matter said on Friday, in what would be a radical escalation of U.S.-China trade tensions.

* The United States does not currently plan to stop Chinese companies from listing on U.S. exchanges, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing a U.S. Treasury official.

* U.S. consumer spending barely rose in August and business investment remained subdued amid lingering trade tensions, prompting economists to slash their economic growth estimates for the third quarter.

* Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker said in New York on Friday he opposed the central bank’s September rate cut and thinks the Fed should “hold firm” on interest rates.

* Boris Johnson said on Sunday he would not quit as Britain’s prime minister even if he fails to secure a deal to leave the European Union, insisting only his Conservative government can deliver Brexit on Oct. 31.

* Saudi Arabia’s crown prince warned in an interview broadcast on Sunday that oil prices could spike to “unimaginably high numbers” if the world does not come together to deter Iran, but said he would prefer a political solution to a military one.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.22% to 922.88 tonnes on Friday.

* Hedge funds and money managers raised their bullish positions in COMEX gold and reduced bullish bets on silver contracts in the week to Sept. 24, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

DATA AHEAD 0755 Germany Unemployment Chg, rate SA Sept 0830 UK GDP QQ, YY Q2 0900 EU Unemployment Rate Aug 1200 Germany CPI Prelim YY Sept 1200 Germany HICP Prelim YY Sept (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)