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Gold steady on weak dollar; trade optimism lifts risk mood

(Reuters) - Gold prices were steady on Monday as the dollar eased on soft manufacturing survey, while signs of a U.S.-China trade deal stoked risk appetite, capping gains for the safe-haven bullion.

FILE PHOTO: Newly casted ingots of 99.99% pure gold are stored after weighing at the Krastsvetmet non-ferrous metals plant, one of the world's largest producers in the precious metals industry, in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia November 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Spot gold XAU= was steady at $1,513.19 per ounce, as of 0747 GMT, after dipping 0.2% earlier in the session, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 were up 0.3% at $1,515.30 per ounce.

The United States and China on Friday said they made progress in talks aimed at defusing a nearly 16-month-long trade war that has harmed the global economy, and U.S. officials said a deal could be signed this month.

Markets took further optimism from economic data last week that eased apprehensions of a slowdown fuelled by the long-drawn trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

In the latest addition, U.S. job growth slowed less than expected in October, while hiring in the prior two months was stronger than previously estimated, data from the Labor Department showed.

Asian shares rose to 14-week highs on Monday, as growing optimism over U.S.-China trade talks and upbeat U.S. job data boosted global investors’ appetite for riskier assets.

“In the short term, market sentiment is too good for investors to pay attention to gold,” said Margaret Yang Yan, a market analyst at CMC Markets, adding that a weaker dollar is limiting losses in the yellow metal.

The dollar had tried to rally on Friday after U.S. payrolls beat expectations, however, it was undone by a soft manufacturing survey which left it looking heavy.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was stuck at 97.218 .DXY having touched a three-month low of 97.107 on Friday. It was now targeting the August trough of 97.033.

“Until and unless the trade war ends once for all, headlines on these negotiations will only have an interim effect on gold prices,” said Hareesh V, head of commodity research at Geojit Financial Services.

Spot gold XAU= may test a resistance at $1,519 per ounce, a break above which could lead to a gain to $1,534.

“As long as gold holds the $1,500 level, markets will be positive,” Hareesh added.

Last week, the Fed cut interest rates for a third time this year, but signalled there would be no further reductions unless the economy takes a turn for the worse.

In Europe, the new head of the European Central Bank (ECB) Christine Lagarde will be giving her first speech in the role later in the day and markets expect she will stick to an easy policy script left by her predecessor, Mario Draghi.

Among other metals, silver XAG= rose 0.4% to $18.16 per ounce, platinum XPT= was up 0.9% at $954.93 per ounce, while palladium XPD= advanced 0.8% to $1,819.13.

Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Sherry Jacob-Phillips