April 2, 2018 / 3:59 AM / in 19 days

PRECIOUS-Gold rises on renewed U.S.-China trade tensions

    * China imposes tariffs of up to 25 pct on 128 U.S. goods
    * Gold snaps three-day losing streak
    * Specs raise net long position in COMEX gold -CFTC

 (Adds trader's comment, updates prices)
    By Swati Verma
    BENGALURU, April 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Monday as
the dollar eased amid renewed concerns over a trade war after
China imposed additional tariffs on U.S. products in response to
U.S. duties on imports of aluminium and steel.
    After falling in the past three trading sessions, spot gold
       edged up 0.5 percent to $1,331.19 per ounce at 0706 GMT.
    China has slapped extra tariffs of up to 25 percent on 128
U.S. products including frozen pork, as well as wine and certain
fruits and nuts, in response to U.S. duties on imports of
aluminium and steel.             
    The tariffs take effect on Monday and match a list of
potential tariffs on up to $3 billion in U.S. goods published by
China on March 23.             
    "The trade war is going on and it is getting worse, so that
might be the reason that people are selling dollar and buying
gold," said Yuichi Ikemizu at ICBC Standard Bank in Tokyo.
    The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against six other major currencies, eased 0.3 percent to 89.929.
    U.S. gold futures         rose 0.6 percent to $1,334.90 an
ounce.
    Gold fell 1.7 percent last week in its biggest such drop
since early December. But the precious metal climbed 1.7 percent
in January-March, posting its third straight quarterly gain.
    The market is trading higher on bargain-hunting amid
expectations that prices have hit bottom, said a Singapore-based
trader. 
    "Even the most steel-nerved trader will be tempted to go in
now," he said.
    Hedge funds and money managers increased their net long
positions in COMEX gold contracts in the week to March 27, U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.
       
    Gold speculators raised their net long position by 50,996
contracts to 172,834 contracts, CFTC data showed.
    In other precious metals, spot silver        climbed 0.8
percent to $16.45 per ounce.
    Platinum        rose 0.8 percent to $935 per ounce, having
fallen to its lowest since end-December in the previous session.
    Palladium        was down 0.1 percent at $950.55 an ounce
after dropping to $938.22 on Thursday, its lowest level since
Oct. 11.

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Manolo
Serapio Jr.)
  
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