September 20, 2019 / 2:14 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold edges higher on soft dollar, heads for first weekly gain in four

Sept 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched higher on Friday on a softer dollar and caution about Sino-U.S. trade talks, while investors looked for clarity on the future path of U.S. interest rates.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,501.35 per ounce, as of 0142 GMT, adding nearly 1% so far this week in what would be its first weekly gain in four.

* U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,509.2 per ounce.

* The dollar nursed losses against most major currencies, as central banks in Switzerland and the UK refrained from following the U.S. Federal Reserve in cutting rates. * The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits increased less than expected last week, pointing to strong labour market conditions that should continue to support an economy growing at a moderate pace.

* U.S. President Donald Trump said Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s job is safe, even though he was “not thrilled” with the central bank after it moved to lower interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday.

* The United States said on Thursday it was building a coalition to deter Iranian threats following a weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

* U.S. and Chinese deputy trade negotiators resumed face-to-face talks for the first time in nearly two months on Thursday, as the world’s two largest economies try to bridge deep policy differences and find a way out of their protracted trade war.

* The Bank of England said Brexit uncertainty and slower world economic growth were increasingly causing Britain’s economy to perform below its potential, and that a failure to reach a deal to leave the European Union by Oct. 31 would worsen the problem.

* The German economy started the third quarter on a weaker footing, the Finance Ministry said on Friday, putting the blame on a cooling global economy and uncertainties linked to Brexit and trade conflicts that are hurting exports.

* Azerbaijan’s leading gold mining company, Anglo Asian Mining, said on Thursday its gold output rose 3.3% year-on-year in the first half of 2019 to 34,349 ounces from 33,255 ounces.

DATA AHEAD 0600 Germany Producer Prices MM, YY Aug 1400 EU Consumer Confid. Flash Sept 1600 US Federal Reserve releases figures on the financial health of U.S. household in its Flow of Funds report for the second quarter. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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