September 2, 2019 / 9:42 AM / 19 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold edges up on U.S.-China tariffs; dollar caps upside

* SPDR Gold Trust holdings rise 12% so far this year

* Specs raise bullish stance in gold and silver- CFTC

* Gold could peak around $1,780/oz by end-2020: J.P. Morgan (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments)

By K. Sathya Narayanan

Sept 2 (Reuters) - Gold rose slightly on Monday after the United States and China imposed new tariffs, as expected, on each others’ goods but a firmer dollar limited gains.

Washington began imposing 15% tariffs on a variety of Chinese goods on Sunday, including footwear, smart watches and flat-panel televisions, as Beijing began imposing new duties on U.S. crude.

U.S. President Donald Trump said both sides would meet for talks later this month.

Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,525.11 per ounce as of 9:12 a.m. EDT (1312 GMT), a session after falling to a one-week low at $1,517.11.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.3% at $1,534.20 an ounce.

Trading could be subdued as U.S. financial markets were closed for the Labor Day holiday.

“Overall, there is nothing going on apart from the fact that the dollar is stronger. There was not so much reaction” to the tariffs because they were “well anticipated,” ABN Amro analyst Georgette Boele said.

The dollar was the highest in more than two years against a basket of currencies early in the session, making gold costlier for investors holding other currencies.

“We can expect a correction in gold prices as it had moved up so quickly that you don’t need so much to trigger profit taking,” Boele added.

Gold rose more than $100 in August due to the trade war, fears of a global economic downturn, negative yielding debt around the globe and hopes for interest rate cuts by central banks.

“Despite the recent rally, we do not yet think a recession is fully discounted in the gold price and we now see gold prices peaking at around $1,780 per ounce by year-end 2020 and averaging $1,418 in 2019 and $1,724 in 2020,” Wall Street bank JP Morgan said in an Aug. 28 note.

Holdings in the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), SPDR Gold Trust, have risen about 12% this year.

Speculators increased their bullish stance in COMEX gold and upped net long positions in silver contracts in the week to Aug. 27, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

“At current levels, both the CFTC and ETF positions remain bullish and are likely to continue to be so over the near term should price action remain firm broadly around $1,500-$1,480,” MKS PAMP said in a note.

Silver gained 0.1% to $18.37 per ounce. Platinum slipped 0.3% to $927.67 per ounce, and palladium was down 0.7% at $1,520.74. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio)

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