January 7, 2019 / 1:16 AM / 10 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices inch down as Fed stance revives risk appetite

BENGALURU, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged down on Monday as equities rose on a recovery in risk appetite following comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that the central bank would be patient and flexible in steering the course of interest rates.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold had dropped about 0.1 percent to $1,284.05 per ounce by 0053 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures were down about 0.1 percent at $1,285.10 per ounce.

* Spot palladium crossed the key $1,300 per ounce level for the first time and hit a record high at $1,310 per ounce on Friday.

* The Fed chairman on Friday sought to ease market concerns that the U.S. central bank was ignoring signs of an economic slowdown, saying he was aware of the risks and would be patient and flexible in policy decisions this year.

* Asian shares got off to a rousing start on Monday as the dovish turn by the Fed and startlingly strong U.S. jobs data soothed some of the market’s worst fears about the global outlook.

* U.S. employers hired the most workers in 10 months in December while boosting wages, pointing to sustained strength in the economy that could ease fears of a sharp slowdown in growth.

* The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against its major peers, inched down.

* Chinese officials will meet their U.S. counterparts for trade negotiations starting later Monday, the first face-to-face talks of the year.

* U.S. President Donald Trump pledged on Sunday not to bend in his demand for a wall along the southern border with Mexico, but said the barrier could be made of steel instead of concrete as a potential compromise with Democrats who refuse to fund it.

* Trump also said that trade talks with China were going very well and that weakness in the Chinese economy gave Beijing a reason to work toward a deal.

* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.37 percent to 798.25 on Thursday.

* UK Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday that Britain would be in uncharted territory if her Brexit deal is rejected by parliament later this month, despite little sign that she has won over sceptical lawmakers.

* Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch noted global equity markets had lost $19.9 trillion since January last year, and a record $84 billion had flowed out of stocks in just the past six weeks.

* Gold discounts in India widened to a two-month high last week as prices surged to a more than six-month peak and demand remained subdued due to New Year holidays.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

1500 U.S. ISM non-manufacturing PMI (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru Editing by Joseph Radford)

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