March 7, 2018 / 1:34 AM / 5 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold gains as trade war fears weigh on dollar, equities

    March 7 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched higher early
Wednesday to their highest in a week as U.S. equities and the
dollar weakened after President Donald Trump said he would push
ahead with punitive tariffs on steel and aluminium imports,
rekindling fears of a potential trade war.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        rose 0.1 percent to $1,335.07 per ounce
at 0126 GMT after hitting $1,340.42 an ounce earlier in the
session, its highest since Feb. 26. 
    * U.S. gold futures         for April delivery rose 0.1
percent to $1,336.30 per ounce.
    * U.S. stock futures and the dollar slumped on Wednesday
after a key advocate for free trade in the White House announced
his resignation, fanning fears Trump would go ahead with tariffs
and risk a trade war.                  
    * Trump's top economic adviser Gary Cohn resigned on Tuesday
after the U.S. president said he was sticking with plans to
impose hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, which some
critics have dubbed the first shot in a global trade war.
            
    * The U.S. dollar will retreat further over the coming year,
giving way to an ascendant euro, according to a Reuters poll of
strategists who said five or more Federal Reserve rate rises
would be needed to significantly boost the greenback's fortunes.
                
    * Feeling the pressure of sanctions, North Korea seems
"sincere" in its apparent willingness to halt nuclear tests if
it held denuclearization talks with the United States, Trump
said on Tuesday as U.S., South Korean and Japanese officials
voiced skepticism about any discussions.             
    * New orders for U.S.-made goods recorded their biggest
decline in six months in January and business spending on
equipment appeared to be slowing after strong growth in 2017.
            
    * Asian gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) added more
tonnes in February than North America and Europe, reversing its
2017 trend of having more flows out, the World Gold Council said
on Tuesday.             
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    0745  France     Trade data                  Jan
    0800  China      Forex reserves              Feb
    1000  Euro zone  Revised GDP                 Q4
    1315  U.S.       ADP national employment     Feb
    1330  U.S.       International trade         Jan
    1900  Federal Reserve Beige Book on economic condition

 (Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha
Gayathri)
  
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