March 28, 2018 / 4:45 AM / 4 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold slips from over 5-week high as trade tensions ease

    * SPDR Gold holdings down 0.14 pct on Tuesday
    * Platinum off from near 3-month lows 

 (Updates prices, adds quote and details)
    By Swati Verma
    BENGALURU, March 28 (Reuters) - Gold on Wednesday backed
away from an over 5-week high touched in the previous session as
concerns about a trade war between the United States and China
eased, which supported the dollar and reduced the incentive to
hold bullion as a safe-haven asset.
    Spot gold        was down 0.4 percent at $1,339.46 per ounce
at 0723 GMT. Prices dropped 0.7 percent on Tuesday, its biggest
percentage loss since March 15, after rising to over 5-week
highs.
    U.S. gold futures         for April delivery were down 0.1
percent to $1,341.10 per ounce.
    "The gold price is mainly driven by the U.S. dollar ... The
risk of trade war is shrinking, which is good for the U.S.
dollar," said Ji Ming, chief analyst, Shandong Gold Group.
    The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against six other major currencies, rose 0.2 percent to 89.503
after gaining 0.3 percent on Tuesday, the most since March 20. 
    The dollar recovered from the five-week low as concerns of a
global trade war were eased by optimistic news that the U.S. and
China were set to begin trade negotiations, after earlier
exchanging threats.       
    However, the White House said Trump had discussed trade
practices with China in calls on Tuesday with French President
Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which could
lead to an escalation of trade tensions.             
    "Any sort of an announcement that negotiations are being
formalized and/or are being taken seriously by both sides
(U.S.-China), could provide strength to the greenback and
alternatively weigh on precious metals instead," INTL FCStone
analyst Edward Meir said in a note.
    A firmer dollar makes gold, which is seen as a safe
investment in times of political and financial uncertainty, more
expensive for holders of other currencies.
    Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.14 percent to 846.12
tonnes on Tuesday from 847.30 tonnes on Monday.           
    In other precious metals, spot silver        was down 0.2
percent at $16.46 per ounce. Silver ended 1 percent lower in the
previous session, after rising to a three-week high of $16.80
per ounce.
    Platinum        was down 0.2 percent at $941 per ounce,
having fallen to lowest since early January in the previous
session at $935.
    Palladium        was steady at $971.70 an ounce.  

 (Reporting by Swati Verma and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru,
Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Sunil Nair)
  
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