June 6, 2019 / 3:14 PM / 5 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold gains luster as Fed rate cut bets, trade tensions boost demand

* Gold has risen over $60/oz since last Thursday

* Gold may consolidate after a strong run in a short time -analyst

* Platinum off three-week highs (Updates prices)

By Arijit Bose

June 6 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Thursday, as fears about the impact of trade wars on the global economy, and rising expectations for a U.S. interest rate cut enhanced the metal’s appeal.

Spot gold rose 0.7% to $1,338.65 per ounce as of 1:48 p.m. EDT (1748 GMT), while U.S. gold futures settled up 0.7% at $1,342.70.

“Ongoing concerns regarding global economic growth is supporting gold at the moment,” said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures, adding that U.S. trade tussles with Mexico and China are taking a toll.

“Recent commentary by U.S. Federal Reserve officials that they are at least willing to look at rate cuts if the data warrants has also helped commodities across the board.”

Having suspended a three-year monetary tightening campaign earlier this year, the Fed is now widely expected to cut rates.

Chairman Jerome Powell said earlier this week the central bank will closely monitor the economic impact of trade conflicts, a deviation from his former pledge to be “patient” before raising or lowering rates.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has consistently advocated rate cuts, on Thursday issued fresh threats to hit China with tariffs on “at least” another $300 billion of Chinese goods. He also said, however, that he thought China and Mexico wanted to make deals.

Since Trump’s threat last week to impose tariffs on Mexico, gold has risen more than $63, and is only $11 away from its 2019 high, set in February.

“Gold has run a long way in its rally in a short span of time, so I would not be surprised to see it consolidate,” Saxo Bank commodity strategist Ole Hansen said.

The market is eyeing data on U.S. non-farm payrolls due at 1230 GMT on Friday for clues on the trajectory of interest rates.

“Wednesday’s ADP national employment report for May showed only 27,000 jobs added in the month. That anemic number has many looking for a weaker number in Friday’s jobs report,” Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco, said in a note.

Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.8% to $14.91 per ounce, close to a more than one-month high of $15.04 set in the previous session.

Palladium climbed 1.6% to $1,349.51 an ounce, while platinum inched down 0.1% to $798.50, away from a near three-week high of $832.63 hit on Wednesday. (Reporting by Arijit Bose and Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru; Editing by Steve orlofsky)

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