December 30, 2019 / 1:41 AM / 21 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold edges up, holds near 2-month peak in thin-volume trade

    Dec 30 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched up on Monday, holding
below a near two-month peak hit in the previous session, as
investors hedged against risks in thin year-end trading after
U.S. military strikes in the Middle East.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        rose 0.3% to $1,514.56 per ounce by 0112
GMT. Prices hit their highest since Nov. 1 at $1,515.09 on
Friday. U.S. gold futures        were unchanged at $1,517.50.
    * Gold prices have risen about 18% this year, mainly due to
the 17-month-long Sino-U.S. tariff war and its impact on global
economic growth.
    * U.S. officials said on Sunday that air strikes in Iraq and
Syria against an Iran-backed militia group were successful, but
warned that "additional actions" might still be taken in the
region to defend U.S. interests.             
    * President Donald Trump was briefed by his top national
security advisers on the air strikes against what U.S. officials
said was an Iran-sponsored group in Iraq and Syria, Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo said.             
    * Investors also kept a close eye on developments regarding
a trade agreement between Washington and Beijing after Trump
last week said there would be a signing ceremony for the first
phase of the deal.             
    * Indicative of investor sentiment, SPDR Gold Trust      ,
the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its
holdings rose 0.1% to 893.25 tonnes on Friday from 892.37 tonnes
on Thursday.          
    * Gold prices flipped to a premium last week in India due to
limited supplies even as demand remained subdued, while other
Asian regions barely saw any holiday purchasing.         
    * Among other precious metals, silver        rose 0.9%
to$17.91 per ounce, while platinum        climbed 0.8% to $952.
Palladium        edged 0.2% higher to $1,909.19 per ounce.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)
0600 Russia Markit Mfg Nov
0800 Spain GDP Q3
0800 Spain HICP Flash YY Dec
0800 Switzerland KOF Indicator Dec
1230* Brazil Primary Budget Surplus Nov
1445* U.S. Chicago PMI Dec
1500 U.S. Pending Home Sales Change MM Nov
1530 U.S. Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey Dec
*approximate release time

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill
and Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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