April 11, 2019 / 4:09 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds near two-week high on dovish central banks

* Gold should see support toward $1,300-$1,305/oz level - MKS

* Dollar on track for 4th straight session of losses

* FOMC minutes, ECB signalled steady interest rates (Updates prices)

By K. Sathya Narayanan

April 11 (Reuters) - Gold edged lower on Thursday, but was trading close to a two-week peak scaled in the last session as dovish U.S. and European central banks fanned concerns on economic slowdown and kept global bond yields and the dollar under pressure.

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,304.99 per ounce as of 0733 GMT, after touching its highest since March 28 at $1,310.50 in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures were down about 0.4 percent at $1,309.30 an ounce.

The dollar index was trading near a two-week low touched in the previous session after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s minutes cemented the central bank’s dovish policy stance amid risks of global economic slowdown.

“Policymakers are continuing to hint that they are not in a rush to hike interest rates, particularly the U.S. Fed, and the ECB also did not change their monetary policy,” IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda said.

“That has caused a decrease in bond yields across the globe and made gold much more attractive.”

U.S. Treasury yields fell on Wednesday as tepid U.S. inflation data reinforced the Fed’s decision to hold interest rates steady.

The European bond market also fell after the European Central Bank (ECB) maintained its dovish policy stance and flagged downside risks to the eurozone economy.

ECB President Mario Draghi raised the prospect of more support for the struggling euro zone economy on Wednesday if its slowdown persisted.

Low interest rates and bond yields reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, which also tends to gain in times of crisis.

“The yellow metal should see support toward $1,300 - $1,305, while a consolidated break through $1,310 should see further interest,” MKS traders said in a note.

Market participants are also closely following the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade talks with broader expectations for a quick resolution to the year-long tit-for-tat tariff war between the world’s two largest economies. Washington and Beijing have largely agreed on a mechanism to police any trade agreement they reach, including establishing new “enforcement offices,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.

Among other precious metals, spot platinum gained about 0.6 percent to $905.98 per ounce.

Palladium was down 0.2 percent at $1,385.05 per ounce, while silver inched 0.2 percent lower to $15.18. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreejay Sinha and Rashmi Aich)

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