BENGALURU, April 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged down early on Friday as global political tensions eased, but expectations for rising inflation supported demand for the safe-have asset. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,344.20 an ounce at 0044 GMT, while U.S. gold futures fell 0.2 percent to $1,346.60 per ounce. Spot gold is also down 0.1 percent so far this week. * U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he hoped a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be successful, while Western missile strikes in Syria were less extensive than some had feared. * Investors were also relieved that no new U.S. demands on trade came out of a summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump. * Asian shares slipped on Friday as a warning on smartphone demand from the world's largest contract chipmaker slugged the tech sector, while lofty oil prices stirred inflation fears and undermined sovereign bonds. * The relatively optimistic backdrop in the United States should support the Federal Reserve in raising short-term rates at least twice more in 2018, traders and analysts said. The U.S. economy, while not firing on all cylinders, has remained on a steady growth path which has assured the Fed it should stick with its current pace of rate increases. * Bank of England Governor Mark Carney on Thursday acknowledged the recent mixed domestic economic readings, which reinforced the view the BOE would raise rates gradual over the next few years. * Meanwhile, Iran warned the United States on Thursday of "unpleasant" consequences if Washington pulls out of a multinational nuclear deal, Iranian state TV reported. * Work has resumed at two gold mines operated by Randgold Resources in Mali, after strikes that halted production since Wednesday, a senior union official told Reuters. * Global diamond giant De Beers is rolling out an app to help small-scale, artisanal diamond miners in Sierra Leone certify that gems they pry from the soil are legal, the Anglo American unit said on Thursday. * CME on Thursday lowered margins for trading palladium, platinum futures. DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0600 Germany Producer prices Mar 1400 Euro zone Consumer confidence flash Apr 1645 Washington G20 Finance Ministers hold news conference following their talks on the sidelines of the spring meeting of the IMF and World Bank (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru Editing by Joseph Radford)
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