January 10, 2020 / 1:15 AM / 18 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold inches down as easing U.S.-Iran tensions whet risk appetite

    Jan 10 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower on Friday, having
declined as much as 1% in the previous session, as de-escalation
in U.S.-Iran tensions brought relief to markets and boosted
investors' appetite for riskier assets. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        fell 0.1% to $1,551.02 per ounce by 0045
GMT. Prices hit their lowest since Jan. 3 at $1,539.78 in the
previous session. U.S. gold futures        eased 0.2% to
$1,551.40.
    * Markets received a respite after U.S. President Donald
Trump responded to Iran's missile attacks with sanctions instead
of military action.             
    * World's shares hit a record high on relief as Mideast
tensions subsided.            
    * The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution on
Thursday to stop Trump from further military action against
Iran, days after he ordered a drone strike that killed a top
Iranian commander and raised fears of war.                   
    * Investors are now focused on a 'Phase 1' trade deal
signing between Washington and Beijing next week.             
    * However, large Chinese purchases of Brazilian soybeans and
a pair of unexpected policy moves by Beijing have dimmed U.S.
hopes that China would double its imports of American farm
products this year.             
    * Trump said his administration will start negotiating the
'Phase 2' agreement soon but that he might wait to complete any
deal until after November's U.S. presidential election.
            
    * The global trade wars may not be over, but U.S. Federal
Reserve officials on Thursday said the economy may have
weathered the worst of it as risks begin to ease and businesses
adjust to a new trade environment.             
    * Sudan has begun allowing private traders to export gold, a
measure designed to crack down on smuggling and attract foreign
currency into the country's cash-strapped treasury.             
    * Reflecting investor sentiment, holdings of the world's
largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund SPDR Gold Trust      ,
fell 0.5% to 882.12 tonnes on Thursday.          
    * Elsewhere, palladium        gained 0.4% to $2,114.94 an
ounce, having hit a record peak of $2,149.50 in the previous
session on supply woes. For the week, the metal was set to
register its best week since mid-June.
    * Silver        was flat at $17.89 per ounce, and was on
track to post its worst week in five, while platinum       
inched up 0.2% to $968.41.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
1200   India   Industrial Output YY  Nov
1330   US      Non-Farm Payrolls     Dec
1330   US      Unemployment Rate     Dec
1330   US      Average Earnings YY   Dec

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh
Kuber)
  
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