April 1, 2019 / 1:23 AM / 23 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold slips as equities gain on trade talk progress, China data

April 1 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched down on Monday as investor appetite for riskier assets improved on signs of progress in Sino-U.S. trade negotiations and better-than-expected Chinese economic data.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold slipped 0.1 percent to $1,290.98 per ounce by 0057 GMT, after touching its lowest since March 8 at $1,286.35 in the previous session.

* U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at $1,294.90 an ounce.

* Asian stocks rose as signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and firmer Wall Street shares supported sentiment, although another defeat for British Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal added to the pound’s recent woes.

* U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that trade talks with China were going very well, but cautioned that he would not accept anything less than a “great deal” after top U.S. and Chinese trade officials wrapped up two days of negotiations in Beijing.

* Factory activity in China unexpectedly grew for the first time in four months in March, an official survey showed on Sunday, suggesting government stimulus measures may be starting to take hold in the world’s second largest economy.

* China’s State Council said on Sunday that the country would continue to suspend additional tariffs on U.S. vehicles and auto parts after April 1, in a goodwill gesture following a U.S. decision to delay tariff hikes on Chinese imports.

* Britain’s exit from the European Union was in disarray after the implosion of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy left her under pressure from rival factions to leave without a deal, go for an election or forge a much softer divorce.

* Barely a week after the U.S. Federal Reserve called a halt to interest rate hikes, policymakers are now battling a view growing in financial markets, and embraced by the Trump administration, that the Fed will need to cut rates before long.

* A spectacular rally that last week took palladium to record highs has hit the buffers, with the metal plummeting almost 15 percent in three days last week.

* Gold premiums in China eased last week as worries about a slowdown in the world’s top bullion consumer prompted some customers to hold off on purchases, while a price dip buoyed appetite in other Asian hubs.

* Hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish wagers in COMEX gold in the week to March 26, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0750 France Markit manufacturing PMI (March) 0755 Germany Markit/BME manufacturing PMI (March) 0800 Euro Zone Markit manufacturing final PMI (March) 0830 UK Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI (March) 0900 Euro Zone HICP consumer prices flash (YY) (March) 1230 U.S. Retail sales (MM) (Feb) 1345 U.S. Markit Manufacturing PMI (March) 1400 U.S. ISM Manufacturing PMI (March) (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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