April 30, 2019 / 1:29 AM / in 21 days

PRECIOUS-Gold edges up on equity blip, market eyes data, Fed

April 30 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Tuesday as Asian shares fell ahead of the release of a raft of economic data and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting which will decide the trajectory of interest rates.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,281.95 per ounce at 0123 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,283.90 an ounce.

* Shares in Asia fell on Tuesday morning despite another record high close for the S&P 500, as investors look to a U.S. Federal Reserve statement due Wednesday for signs the central bank will continue a “patient” approach to interest rate policy.

* Growth in China’s factory activity unexpectedly slowed in April, an official survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting the economy is still struggling to regain traction despite a flurry of support measures.

* The market is now eyeing a bevy of economic data from the euro zone and the Fed’s statement on Wednesday.

* The Federal Reserve is expected to hold interest rates steady as policymakers balance recent stronger-than-expected U.S. economic growth against sluggish inflation.

* China’s net gold imports via main conduit Hong Kong in March rose 9.8 percent from the previous month, Hong Kong government data showed on Monday.

* Australia-based Newcrest Mining Ltd’s gold production in the third quarter came in about 5 percent lower than in the prior quarter, hurt by lower production at most of its operations, including its flagship Cadia mine.

* Newmont Goldcorp Corp said on Monday it plans to suspend operations at its Peñasquito mine in Mexico due to a blockade by a trucking contractor and some members of the Cedros community.

* Palladium fell by 7 percent on Monday to $1,361.50 an ounce, but recovered some ground to settle at $1,370.50.

* Palladium was up 0.3 percent at $1,374.51 an ounce on Tuesday.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

* 0530 France GDP Preliminary QQ Q1

* 0645 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY April

* 0755 Germany Unemployment Chg SA April

* 0755 Germany Unemployment Rate SA April

* 0900 EU GDP Flash Prelim YY QQ Q1

* 0900 EU Unemployment Rate March

* 1200 Germany CPI Prelim YY April

* 1200 Germany HICP Prelim YY April

* 1400 U.S. Consumer Confidence April

U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee to commence its two-day meeting on interest rates (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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