July 11, 2018 / 1:14 AM / 5 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices edge lower on firmer dollar amid U.S.-China trade worries

    BENGALURU, July 11 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched lower
early on Wednesday as the U.S. dollar firmed amid an escalating
trade spat between the United States and China. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        was down 0.3 percent at $1,251.74 an
ounce at 0102 GMT. 
    * U.S. gold futures         for August delivery were down
0.3 percent at $1,251.20 an ounce.
    * The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a
basket of six major currencies, was 0.1 percent higher at
94.209. 
    * The Trump administration raised the stakes in its trade
war with China on Tuesday, saying it would slap 10 percent
tariffs on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.
            
    * Last week, Washington imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34
billion of Chinese imports, and Beijing responded immediately
with matching tariffs on the same amount of U.S. exports to
China.             
    * More American workers voluntarily quit their jobs in May,
government data showed on Tuesday, a sign of confidence in the
labor market that economists say will soon boost wage growth.
            
    * British Prime Minister Theresa May won the support of
senior ministers and an endorsement from Europe's most powerful
leader, Angela Merkel, on Tuesday, surviving the explosive
resignations of two top cabinet members in protest at her Brexit
plans.             
    * Britain's economy picked up a bit of speed in May after
slowing in early 2018, according to official figures that will
give the Bank of England more confidence about raising interest
rates next month for only the second time in over a decade.
            
    * The European Central Bank defended its 2.6 trillion-euro
bond-buying programme before the European Union's top court on
Tuesday from accusations it was bankrolling governments and
endangering taxpayer money.             
    * The NATO alliance holds a two-day summit from Wednesday
looking stronger militarily than at any time since the Cold War
and with plans to expand further to curb Russian power.
            
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.22 percent to 799.02
tonnes on Tuesday from 800.77 tonnes on Monday.          
    * The platinum market is expected to see its fourth
consecutive surplus in 2018, led by a fall in demand in the
automotive sector, yet supply is expected to drop and possibly
support prices, CPM Group said on Tuesday.             
    

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru; editing by Richard
Pullin)
  
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