* Gold to stay supported on trade worries in near term - analysts
* Asian shares bounce off 3-1/2-month lows (Adds details, comments and updates prices)
May 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices steadied on Wednesday, having retreated from a one-month peak hit in the previous session as optimism surrounding trade talks between Washington and Beijing soothed investor concerns, boosting global stocks and the dollar.
Spot gold was steady at $1,296.49 an ounce by 0808 GMT.
U.S. gold futures edged 0.1% higher to $1,297.20 an ounce.
“Gold is restrained as people are still interested in the dollar. The $1,300 level also looks like a good resistance,” said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals in Hong Kong.
The dollar held firm in early Asian trading, having been supported on Tuesday by U.S. President Donald Trump downplaying the recent escalation in his trade war with China as “a little squabble” and insisting that talks between the two countries had not collapsed.
A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of non-U.S. currency.
Simultaneously, Asian stocks also turned cautiously optimistic surrounding trade developments between the two countries on Wednesday, while still not completely discounting the possibilities of a protracted spat.
“The (gold) market is holding because some people bought gold especially after the Chinese government also raised tariffs on U.S. goods,” Fung said, adding that the metal is expected to remain range-bound between $1,280 and $1,310 an ounce.
The biggest trigger for gold, which had been mostly range-bound for the past week, came on Monday after China announced that it would impose retaliatory tariffs on a range of U.S. goods.
There was some profit-taking in the previous session after prices jumped about $20 on Monday and above the key $1,300 level, analysts and traders said.
“The ongoing Sino-U.S. trade dispute has illustrated cooling conditions as both parties expressed willingness to resolve existing trade differences,” Phillip Futures analysts wrote in a note.
“Gold prices though easing up on bullish gains will remain supported as investors remain cautious on lingering U.S.-China trade worries in the near term.”
Market participants now keenly eye economic data from Europe that will provide further cues on the strength of the global economy.
Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.2% to $14.81 an ounce, while platinum fell 0.2% to $853.75.
Palladium fell 0.7% to $1,326.25 an ounce. (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru and Nallur Sethuraman; editing by Uttaresh.V and Shreejay Sinha)
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