April 20, 2018 / 1:14 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices inch down as global political tensions ease

    BENGALURU, April 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged down early
on Friday as global political tensions eased, but expectations
for rising inflation supported demand for the safe-have asset.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,344.20 an
ounce at 0044 GMT, while U.S. gold futures         fell 0.2
percent to $1,346.60 per ounce. Spot gold is also down 0.1
percent so far this week.
    * U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he hoped a
summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be successful,
while Western missile strikes in Syria were less extensive than
some had feared.             
    * Investors were also relieved that no new U.S. demands on
trade came out of a summit between Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump.             
    * Asian shares slipped on Friday as a warning on smartphone
demand from the world's largest contract chipmaker slugged the
tech sector, while lofty oil prices stirred inflation fears and
undermined sovereign bonds.            
    * The relatively optimistic backdrop in the United States
should support the Federal Reserve in raising short-term rates
at least twice more in 2018, traders and analysts said.
            
    The U.S. economy, while not firing on all cylinders, has
remained on a steady growth path which has assured the Fed it
should stick with its current pace of rate increases.
            
    * Bank of England Governor Mark Carney on Thursday
acknowledged the recent mixed domestic economic readings, which
reinforced the view the BOE would raise rates gradual over the
next few years.             
    * Meanwhile, Iran warned the United States on Thursday of
"unpleasant" consequences if Washington pulls out of a
multinational nuclear deal, Iranian state TV reported.
            
    * Work has resumed at two gold mines operated by Randgold
Resources         in Mali, after strikes that halted production
since Wednesday, a senior union official told Reuters.
            
    * Global diamond giant De Beers is rolling out an app to
help small-scale, artisanal diamond miners in Sierra Leone
certify that gems they pry from the soil are legal, the Anglo
American         unit said on Thursday.             
    * CME on Thursday lowered margins for trading palladium,
platinum futures.             
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
    0600  Germany    Producer prices             Mar
    1400  Euro zone  Consumer confidence flash   Apr
    1645  Washington G20 Finance Ministers hold news
          conference following their talks on the sidelines of  
         
          the spring meeting of the IMF and World Bank
                                      

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru
Editing by Joseph Radford)
  
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