PRECIOUS-Gold jumps to highest since Oct 2012 on U.S.-China worries

    May 18 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Monday to its highest since
October 2012 as worries regarding the souring U.S.-China
relations and bleak U.S. economic data underpinned the
safe-haven metal.    
    * Spot gold        was up 0.9% at $1,756.79 per ounce by
0043 GMT, after rising to its highest since Oct. 12, 2012 at
$1,759.98. U.S. gold futures        gained 0.5% to $1,765.70.
    * The U.S.-China "Phase 1" trade deal reached in January is
not falling apart and the two countries are still working to
implement it, the White House's top economic adviser said on
Friday, but President Donald Trump added that he was not
"thrilled" with the agreement.             
    * China's commerce ministry on Sunday said it was firmly
opposed to the latest rules by the United States against Huawei
and would take all necessary measures to safeguard Chinese
firms' rights and interests.             
    * Underscoring the economic impact of the coronavirus
epidemic, U.S. retail sales endured a second straight month of
record declines in April, putting the economy on track for its
biggest contraction in the second quarter since the Great
    * A U.S. economic recovery may stretch deep into next year
and a full comeback may depend on a vaccine, the Federal Reserve
chairman said Sunday night, while he outlined the likely need
for three to six more months of government financial help for
firms and families.                         
    * Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures as
it is seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement,
while it is also used as a safe-haven during times of economic
and political uncertainties.
    * Authorities in China's Wuhan have tested over 3 million
residents for the coronavirus in April and May and aim to test
all of the rest, state media said, as the city faces the threat
of a second wave of infections.             
    * Japan's economy slipped into recession for the first time
in 4-1/2 years, GDP data showed, putting the nation on course
for its deepest postwar slump.             
    * Physical gold demand was tepid in most Asian centres last
week with retail buying yet to see any significant recovery even
as top hubs India and China eased some coronavirus-driven
    * SPDR Gold Trust       holdings, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.8% to 1,113.78 tonnes
on Friday.           
    * Palladium        slipped 0.5% to $1,892.25 per ounce.
Platinum        gained 0.7% to $803.19, while silver        rose
2% to $16.96.
1400  U.S.  NAHB Housing Market Index  May        

 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)