July 2, 2018 / 11:12 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Dollar pressures gold to 6-1/2 mth low, platinum to near 10-yr low

    * Gold down more than 8 pct from April high
    * Funds cut bets on higher prices

 (Rewrites lead paragraph and headline; updates prices; adds
comment, second byline, NEW YORK to dateline)
    By Renita D. Young and Peter Hobson
    NEW YORK/LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - Gold slipped more than 1
percent to its lowest in 6-1/2 months on Monday ahead of a U.S.
holiday, and platinum headed to its lowest in nearly 10 years as
the greenback strengthened and an ongoing U.S.-European Union
trade spat pressured precious metals.
    Fears of a trade war between the United States and China
have helped weaken China's renminbi, the Indian rupee and
Japan's yen against the dollar.                            
    A strong dollar makes greenback-priced gold more expensive
for holders of other currencies.
    The dollar received another boost from better-than-expected
U.S. manufacturing data. Its strength has helped to pressure
spot gold        by more than 8 percent from its April high of
    Meanwhile, a deepening auto tariff spat between the United
States and the European Union has caused more sales of
autocatalyst metals platinum and palladium, traders said.
    Spot gold was down 0.8 percent at $1,242.01 per ounce by
2:20 p.m. EDT (1820 GMT). U.S. gold futures         for August
delivery settled down $12.80, or 1 percent, at $1,241.70 per
    Platinum        was down 4 percent at $814 an ounce after
touching its weakest since December 2008 at $804. Platinum was
headed for its worse one-day drop in more than 2-1/2 years.
     The European Union has warned the United States that
imposing import tariffs on cars and car parts would harm the
U.S. automotive industry and likely lead to counter-measures on
$294 billion of U.S. exports.             
     "With the auto tariff threats, you will see it affect
demand, so investors are selling platinum as a result," said
John Caruso, senior market strategist at RJO Futures. 
    Car sales will likely plummet, said Dillon Gage's Walter
Pehowich. "Psychologically, it pulls back people who are wanting
to buy platinum and palladium," he added.
     On Wednesday, July 4, trade will halt early at 1 p.m. EDT
(1700 GMT) for the U.S. Independence Day holiday and there will
be no settlement price.             
    Investors awaited minutes of a June Federal Reserve meeting
on Thursday and U.S. employment data on Friday. An aggressive
tone by the Fed or strong jobs numbers could bolster the case
for higher U.S. interest rates.
    Higher rates tend to strengthen the dollar and boost bond
yields, reducing the appeal of non-yielding bullion.
    In other precious metals, silver        was down 1.4 percent
at $15.85 an ounce after hitting $15.73, the lowest in 6-1/2
    Palladium        lost 1.1 percent to $942.50 per ounce.

 (Additional reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru
Editing by David Goodman and Andrea Ricci)
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