May 13, 2019 / 1:44 AM / 10 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold firms as U.S.-China trade impasse fuels safe-haven demand

May 13 (Reuters) - Gold prices steadied on Monday as trade talks between the United States and China hit a wall, raising doubts over whether the two countries would be able to reach a deal, thereby boosting demand for safe-haven assets.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold gained 0.1% to at $1,286.59 per ounce at 0113 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,287.90 an ounce.

* The United States and China appeared at a deadlock over trade negotiations on Sunday as Washington demanded promises of concrete changes to Chinese law and Beijing said it would not swallow any “bitter fruit” that harmed its interests.

* Washington had already hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports on Friday, while U.S. President Donald Trump further ordered his trade chief to begin the process of imposing tariffs on all remaining imports from China.

* Stock futures turned red in Asia early on Monday as a standoff in Sino-U.S. trade talks blunted risk appetite, underpinning safe harbours including the Japanese yen and sovereign bonds.

* The safe-haven yen edged higher and the Chinese yuan and Australian dollar dipped early on Monday after the latest escalation in the trade war between the United States and China.

* Gold demand jumped last week in India due to increased retail purchases for key festival and weddings on price corrections, while premiums in China eased as buying slowed at the world’s top consumer.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.91 percent to 733.23 tonnes on Friday from 739.94 tonnes on Thursday.

* Hedge funds and money managers raised their net long positions in COMEX gold for the week to May 7, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said last week.

* South Africa’s Competition Appeals Court will rule next week on a union request to block the mining deal in which Sibanye-Stillwater intends to acquire rival Lonmin , legal counsel said on Friday.

* The price gap between palladium and its sister metal platinum needs to shrink as number one platinum producer South Africa requires a higher price for the metal to keep investing in new supply, Russia’s Norilsk Nickel said.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

* 1200 India CPI Inflation YY April (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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