* Gold’s break below key moving averages a bearish sign- traders
* Mnuchin says he hopes trade talks nearing ‘final round’
* Silver hits 3-1/2-month lows (Updates prices)
April 15 (Reuters) - Gold fell to its lowest in more than a week on Monday as hopes the United States and China would reach a trade deal lifted appetite for riskier asset even as the dollar retreated.
Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,287.61 per ounce at 1:45 p.m. EDT (1745 GMT), off a low of $1,281.96, its lowest since April 4. U.S. gold futures settled down 0.3 percent at $1,291.30 an ounce.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday he hoped Washington and Beijing were “close to the final round” of negotiations to resolve the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economics.
Signs the two countries were heading for a deal to end the bitter dispute - marked by tit-for-tat tariffs that have cost the two economies billions and rattled financial markets - lifted investor sentiment and dented demand safe-haven gold.
“Overall, people are not enchanted by gold, they don’t see a lot of upside potential in it,” said Miguel Perez-Santalla, vice president of Heraeus Metal Management in New York
U.S. data last week showing import prices rose for a third straight month in March, coupled with positive Chinese export and euro zone industrial production numbers, assuaged some concerns over global growth, also limiting demand for gold.
On the technical front, prices fell below the 100-day moving average around $1,287, which traders said could be a bearish signal. The metal also broke below the key psychological $1,300 mark last week, pointing to a further negative bias.
“Gold is coming towards the support level of $1,280. People are anticipating that if gold dips in this level and the buyers step back in, it might create a short-term bottom, making it an opportunistic time to start pursuing gold,” said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors.
“Overall, this week is going to be really slow in terms of volume, as the prices will fluctuate; it will seem a little more volatile because there will be less market participants.”
Spot platinum and palladium fell 0.5 percent to $881.50 per ounce and to $1,364.38 per ounce, respectively.
Silver rose 0.2 percent to $14.98 an ounce. Earlier in the session prices touched their lowest since Dec. 26 at $14.81. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel and Sumita Layek; additional reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Dale Hudson, Kirsten Donovan and Susan Thomas)
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