June 7, 2019 / 9:27 AM / 6 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold eyes biggest weekly gain since March 2018 on rate cut views

    * Gold up 2.3% so far this week
    * U.S. jobs data due at 1230 GMT
    * Platinum on track for first weekly gain in 7 weeks
    * Silver set to post biggest weekly rise in over 4 months

 (Updates prices)
    By Arijit Bose
    June 7 (Reuters) - Gold prices steadied on Friday, but
remained on course for their biggest weekly gain since March
2018, after rising expectations for a U.S. rate cut and concerns
over trade tussles boosted demand for safe-haven bullion. 
    However, having failed earlier this week to breach its 2019
high of $1,346.73, analysts expect the metal to consolidate
until there is fresh impetus.
    Spot gold        was steady at $1,335.35 per ounce at 1153
GMT, while U.S. gold futures         were down 0.2% at
    "We have had quite a move higher earlier this week, but we
are moving towards levels where the market will struggle to go
much higher," ING analyst Warren Patterson said.
    Gold has rallied in a short span of time, having gained
about 2.3% this week.
    "Overall sentiment is still fairly supportive for the gold
market," Patterson added, attributing the recent rally to a
two-pronged U.S. trade spat with Mexico and China, and hopes for
an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
    The United States and Mexico concluded their second day of
talks on trade and migration on Thursday and markets rebounded
on optimism a deal could be close. However, it remains unclear
whether Mexican pledges to curb migration flows will be enough
to persuade Washington to postpone tariffs.             
    U.S. President Donald Trump said he would decide whether to
carry out his threat to hit Beijing with tariffs on at least
$300 billion in Chinese goods after a meeting of leaders of the
world's largest economies late this month.              
    Gold's appeal as a safe-haven investment is bolstered in
times of geopolitical uncertainty.
    "Gold is likely to stay muted through the rest of the day
before the release of the non-farm payrolls. Investors want to
see the impact on the U.S. jobs market before reassessing the
current pessimism," Howie Lee, an economist at OCBC Bank, said.
    U.S. non-farm payrolls data at 1230 GMT will provide clues
on the trajectory of interest rates.
    Meanwhile, New York Fed President John Williams on Thursday
acknowledged the impact of trade and global growth concerns on
business investment, but said he was keeping an open mind on
interest rates.             
    Among other metals, silver        rose 0.4% to $14.91 per
ounce, on track for its biggest weekly increase since late
    Platinum        edged 0.2% lower to $801.40 an ounce. The
metal was still headed for its first weekly gain in seven.
    Palladium        dipped 0.2% to $1,348.65 an ounce.

 (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru
Editing by Mark Potter and Dale Hudson)
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