August 16, 2019 / 3:27 PM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold drops as equities surge, but eyes 3rd weekly gain

* Speculation grows of aggressive central bank easing

* Silver set for second week of gains

* Gold may fall into $1,483-$1,503/oz range - techs (Updates prices)

By Eileen Soreng

Aug 16 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Friday as stocks and the dollar firmed, but fears of a slowing global economy and lack of clarity on the U.S.-China trade war kept bullion on track for a third straight weekly gain.

Spot gold was down 0.5% at $1,514.70 per ounce as of 1:42 p.m. EDT (1751 GMT), but is up over 1% so far this week.

U.S. gold futures settled down 0.5% at $1,523.60.

“The dollar index is strengthening quite a bit, equity futures are coming back. ... We’re going back a bit to riskier assets,” said Phillip Streible, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures, adding that gold could also be seeing some profit taking.

Hopes for more official economic stimulus for the economy and the easing of a bond market rally drove a broad rise in U.S. stocks on Friday, as a bruising week for markets drew to a close.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1% after hitting a two-week high.

“On the daily charts gold still looks good, but we’ve have to get above that $1,546 in order to reignite new longs into the market,” Streible said.

Bullion has risen more than $100 since the beginning of the month amid falling global bond yields, heightened trade tensions and a slew of disappointing economic data globally.

Earlier this week, 10-year Treasury yields dropped below the two-year yield for the first time in 12 years. Curve inversion is widely considered a warning that the economy is headed for recession.

“There are lots of demand factors and drivers that are making the incremental gold buyer keep their eyes on the gold market,” said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors.

“I anticipate gold pulling into about the $1,460 level. ... It’s still not breaking trend and that’d probably be a good level for people to start accumulating.”

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he believed China wanted to make a trade deal and that the dispute would be fairly short.

Beijing had vowed to counter the latest tariffs on Chinese goods but called on Washington to meet it halfway on a potential deal.

Investors will now focus on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual symposium next week for further hints on monetary easing.

On the technical side, spot gold may fall into a range of $1,483-$1,503 per ounce, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Elsewhere, silver fell 0.6% to $17.16 per ounce, but was on track for a second consecutive weekly gain.

Platinum rose 0.9% to $849.95 an ounce, while palladium rose 0.4% to $1,450.7 an ounce.

Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru Editing by Tom Brown and Richard Chang

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