October 10, 2018 / 5:38 PM / in 11 days

PRECIOUS-Gold prices edge higher as global stocks sag, U.S. dollar slips

* Global equities slide to three-month lows

* U.S dollar retreats from seven-week high

* Prospects of further U.S. rate hikes limit gold’s gains

* Silver slips to near two-week lows (Updates prices, adds details)

By Swati Verma

BENGALURU, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday as some investors sought refuge in the precious metal after the global stocks tumbled and the U.S. dollar weakened.

Spot gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,194.12 per ounce by 4:52 p.m. EDT (2052 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled up $1.9, or 0.16 percent, at $1,193.4.

Stocks on major world markets fell to a three-month low, with the benchmark S&P500 stock index falling more than 3 percent, in its biggest one-day fall since February. The U.S. dollar index retreated from a seven-week peak hit in the previous session.

“The S&P500 is looking very weak and negative and that is putting fear into investors,” said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors.

“With the markets going down people are increasing their allocation towards gold.”

Gold, however, has fallen over 13 percent since hitting a peak in April, with investors increasingly opting for the safety of the greenback as the U.S.-China trade war unfolded against a backdrop of rising U.S. interest rates.

Rising bond yields have also dampened the appeal of gold, which pays no interest. Higher U.S. Treasury yields can translate into more demand for the dollar, making bullion more expensive for holders of other currencies.

“The higher yield environment and stronger dollar are providing a toxic mix for gold,” said Fawad Razaqzada, an analyst with Forex.com.

“The trend for yields has been bullish and they could rise further from here. It will be hard for gold to sustain any rallies in this environment.”

U.S. Treasury yields held near multi-year highs after government data showed the U.S. producer price index (PPI) climbed in September, which reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve would continuing raising interest rates.

“Gold prices will struggle to rebound over the remainder of 2018,” said Sabrin Chowdhury, commodities analyst at Fitch Solutions.

“Strong U.S. economic growth, concurrent monetary policy normalisation by the U.S. Federal Reserve and a strong dollar will all limit the attractiveness of holding gold as an investment.”

The Fed increased interest rates last month for the third time this year and is widely expected to hike again in December, with no suggestion its tightening policy will cease anytime soon.

Analysts said an upside in gold could also be limited by waning demand due to depreciating domestic currencies in major gold-consuming countries such as India.

Spot silver lost half a percent at $14.29, earlier touching its lowest since Sept. 28 at $14.21.

Palladium fell 0.5 percent to $1,064.22 and platinum slipped 0.2 percent to $822.20 an ounce.

Reporting by Swati Verma and Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; editing by Clive McKeef

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