December 28, 2018 / 1:34 AM / 6 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady as economic worries support, gains in equities drag

BENGALURU, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady near six-month highs on Friday, supported by worries over economic growth but pressured by gains in global equity markets.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold had risen 0.1 percent to $1,276.15 per ounce as at 0126 GMT. The metal on Wednesday hit its highest level since June 19 at $1,279.06.

* U.S. gold futures inched down 0.2 percent to $1,278.1 per ounce.

* The dollar index, a gauge of its value versus six major peers, was marginally weaker at 96.57, after losing 0.5 percent overnight.

* U.S. stocks roared back to end in positive territory on Thursday following steep losses for much of the session, as equities rebounded for a second day.

* A measure of U.S. consumer confidence posted its sharpest decline in more than three years in December, rattling investors already nervous about the prospect that a global economic slowdown was spilling over into the United States.

* U.S. President Donald Trump is considering an executive order in the new year to declare a national emergency that would bar U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by China’s Huawei and ZTE, three sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

* China and the United States have made plans for face-to-face consultations over trade in January, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday, as the world’s two biggest economies advanced efforts to resolve a months-long trade war.

* Earnings at China’s industrial firms in November dropped for the first time in nearly three years, as slackening external and domestic demand left businesses facing more strain in 2019 in a sign of rising risks to the world’s second-largest economy.

* China’s net gold imports via main conduit Hong Kong rose 28 percent in November from the previous month to their highest since July, data showed on Thursday.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.30 percent to 787.67 tonnes on Thursday from 790.02 tonnes on Wednesday. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru Editing by Joseph Radford)

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