March 13, 2019 / 1:50 AM / in 5 months

PRECIOUS-Gold hits near 2-week high on Brexit woes, weaker dollar

March 13 (Reuters) - Gold rose to its highest level in nearly two weeks on Wednesday, after regaining the key $1,300 level in prior session, buoyed by safe haven demand from Brexit chaos and a fall in dollar after a softer U.S. data.

FUNDAMENTALS

* As of 0130 GMT, spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,303.74 per ounce, after touching its highest since March 1 earlier in the session at $1,304.63.

* U.S. gold futures were up 0.4 percent at $1,303.80 an ounce.

* The dollar index fell about 0.3 percent in the previous session.

U.S. consumer prices rose for the first time in four months in February, but the pace of the increase was modest, resulting in the smallest annual gain in nearly 2-1/2 years.

* British lawmakers crushed Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union divorce deal on Tuesday, thrusting Britain deeper into crisis and forcing parliament to decide within days whether to back a no-deal Brexit or seek a last-minute delay.

* The European Union will not negotiate Brexit again, it said on Tuesday, after Britain’s parliament rejected the divorce package for a second time in a vote that made a chaotic no-deal scenario more likely.

* Asian share markets got off to a subdued start on Wednesday after a mixed finish on Wall Street, while a frazzled pound awaited its fate ahead of yet another make-or-break parliamentary vote on Brexit.

* The United States and China may be in the final weeks of discussions to hammer out a deal to ease their tit-for-tat tariffs dispute, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Tuesday.

* Japan’s machinery orders fell in January at the fastest pace in four months due to a decline in orders from auto and telecommunications equipment makers and as the U.S.-China trade war dented global demand.

* European Central Bank policymakers want to reduce banks’ reliance on central bank cash and will tailor a fresh loan facility to curb appetite, four sources familiar with the discussion have told Reuters.

* Russian gold producer Polyus has received a further 5 percent stake in the giant Sukhoi Log gold deposit from its project partner Rostec in return for a 0.28 percent stake in Polyus shares, Polyus said late on Monday.

* Australia’s top gold miner Newcrest Mining Ltd on Tuesday said it signed an exploration agreement for a joint venture with London-listed Greatland Gold Plc.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.38 percent to 772.46 tonnes on Tuesday from 769.53 tonnes on Monday.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 1000 Euro zone Industrial production (Jan) 1230 U.S. Durable goods (Jan) 1400 U.S. Construction Spending (Jan) (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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