March 15, 2018 / 1:16 AM / 3 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold inches up as trade fears weigh on stocks

    March 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher early Thursday
and hovered near one-week highs hit in the previous session, as
concerns over trade tensions weighed on share markets. 
    * Spot gold        rose 0.2 percent to $1,326.71 per ounce
at 0108 GMT, towards the top end of a tight range tracked over
the past five trading sessions.
    * U.S. gold futures         for April delivery rose 0.1
percent to $1,327.10 per ounce.
    * Stock markets sagged broadly on Thursday while government
bonds attracted safe-haven demand amid mounting investor
concerns that growing trade tensions could hurt the global
    * The dollar edged higher on Wednesday after three straight
days of losses, as investors booked profits on their short
currency bets, but the outlook remained murky amid political
uncertainty in the Trump administration and renewed worries
about trade wars.       
    * U.S. television commentator and conservative economic
analyst Larry Kudlow will replace Gary Cohn as President Donald
Trump's top economic adviser, adding another loyalist to Trump's
inner circle.             
    * U.S. retail sales fell for a third straight month in
February as households cut back on purchases of motor vehicles
and other big-ticket items, prompting analysts to downgrade
their first-quarter economic growth forecasts.             
    * Differences over how to deal with North Korea's nuclear
challenge were a key factor in President Donald Trump's decision
to replace Rex Tillerson as U.S. secretary of state, according
to sources familiar with the internal deliberations.
    * The European Central Bank needs further evidence that
inflation is rising towards its target and will end asset buys
only when it is satisfied that price growth is on a sustained
path towards its objective, two of the ECB's top officials said
on Wednesday.             
    1230  U.S.  New York Fed manufacturing   Mar
    1230  U.S.  Import prices                Feb
    1230  U.S.  Export prices                Feb
    1230  U.S.  Weekly jobless claims        
    1230  U.S.  Philly Fed business index    Mar
    1400  U.S.  NAHB housing market index    Mar

 (Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru; editing by Richard
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