October 19, 2018 / 1:24 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold edges higher as Asian shares slip

BENGALURU, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices nudged higher early Friday as Asian shares fell on renewed political and economic concerns, with the metal on track for its third straight weekly rise.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,227.31 an ounce at 0107 GMT. It was up about 0.7 percent for the week.

* U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,230.60 an ounce.

* Stocks in Asia fell as global sentiment soured on issues ranging from trade worries, Italy’s 2019 budget, higher U.S. interest rates and growth concerns in China that led to a slump in Chinese shares in the previous session.

* China’s third-quarter GDP data due on Friday is expected to show growth slipped to its weakest pace since the global financial crisis, as domestic demand faltered and exporters started to feel the pinch from a bitter Sino-U.S. trade dispute.

* U.S. trade policy towards China over the next few years will become more confrontational, according to a majority of economists in a Reuters poll who remain convinced U.S. growth has peaked and will slow substantially next year.

* Italy’s Prime Minister defended its free-spending budget on Thursday, brushing off criticism from Brussels as the European Commission stepped up pressure over a draft it labelled an unprecedented breach of EU fiscal rules.

* British Prime Minister Theresa May and other EU leaders voiced renewed confidence on Thursday they could secure a Brexit deal, saying they were working hard to overcome the hurdles that only days ago brought the talks to a halt.

* The United States is requesting that a World Trade Organization dispute resolution panel get involved in a clash over international retaliation over U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.

* U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he presumes missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead and that the U.S. response to Saudi Arabia will likely be “very severe” but that he still wanted to get to the bottom of what exactly happened.

* The Federal Reserve’s current monetary policy path would raise the risks of recession in an economy where recent, unexpectedly strong growth may start to taper anyway, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Thursday.

* Switzerland’s gold imports and exports fell in September from August, data showed.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

0200 China GDP Q3

0200 China Industrial output Sep

0200 China Retail sales Sep

0200 China Urban investment Sep

0800 Euro zone Current account Aug

1400 U.S. Existing home sales Sep (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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