June 13 (Reuters) - Gold held steady in early Asian trade on Thursday as festering Sino-U.S. trade tensions and hopes of an interest rate cut by the U.S. central bank following soft inflation data buoyed demand for the safe-haven bullion.
* Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,334.11 as of 0148 GMT.
* U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,336.70 an ounce.
* U.S. consumer prices barely rose in May, data from the Labor Department showed on Wednesday, pointing to moderate inflation that together with a slowing economy increased pressure on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates this year.
* Weak economic data such as Wednesday’s has investors hoping the Fed would give hints about a rate cut after its June 18-19 meeting.
* The dollar index versus a basket of six major currencies was steady, having risen more than 0.3% overnight.
* U.S. President Donald Trump declined to set a deadline on Wednesday for levying tariffs on another $325 billion of Chinese goods and called the relationship with Beijing good but “testy” after China walked back commitments for a trade deal.
* Trump said he had a “feeling” a U.S.-China trade deal could be reached. But he again threatened to increase tariffs on Chinese goods if there is no agreement.
* Trump says he wants to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the June 28-29 G20 summit in Osaka, Japan and will decide on whether to extend tariffs to almost all Chinese imports after that.
* Asian stocks stuttered on Thursday, dogged by the uncertainty over an intractable U.S.-China trade dispute.
* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.5% to 759.70 tonnes on Wednesday from 756.18 tonnes on Tuesday.
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
* 0600 Germany HICP Final YY May (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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