April 17, 2018 / 3:59 AM / 5 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices rise as dollar slips to lowest in nearly 3 weeks

    * U.S President Trump, Japan's Abe to meet Tues and Weds
    * Palladium hovers below 1-1/2 month highs 

 (Adds detail, updates prices)
    By Swati Verma
    BENGALURU, April 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices nudged higher on
Tuesday as the U.S. dollar slid to its weakest level in about
three-weeks, with the metal also supported by festering worries
over U.S.-China trade tensions.
    Spot gold        had gained 0.2 percent to $1,347.81 an
ounce by 0707 GMT, while U.S. gold futures         were steady
at $1,350.60 an ounce.
    "Despite a quietening of negative headlines overnight, its
unlikely we've seen the last of China trade tensions or a weaker
U.S. dollar for that fact. All of which continues to provide the
most apparent reasons to own gold," said Stephen Innes, head of
trading for Asia-Pacific for OANDA in Singapore.
    The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, eased to a low of 89.270 earlier
in the session, its weakest since March 28.       
    Against the yen, the dollar        was down 0.2 percent at
106.93, off its seven-week high of 107.78 yen touched on Friday
as traders braced for a meeting between U.S. President Donald
Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe starting on
Tuesday.             
    Meanwhile, the likelihood that there would be no immediate
military escalation in Syria following the weekend missile
strikes by the United States, Britain and France, improved
investor appetite for risk and limited gold's gains.
    "In my view geopolitical events tend to have short-lived
impact on gold prices unless they have far reaching economic
consequences. So in this sense, the Russian/Chinese sanctions
are far more important to the world economy and to gold as
opposed to one-off strikes in Syria," said INTL FCStone analyst
Edward Meir.
    Gold is often seen as an alternative investment at times of
political and financial uncertainty.
    The U.S. yield curve reached it flattest level in over a
decade on Monday after the White House said President Trump
would nominate Richard Clarida as Federal Reserve Vice Chairman,
adding another hawkish voice at the central bank.             
     
    On Monday, Trump also accused Russia and China of devaluing
their currencies while the United States raises interest rates.
            
    Higher rates tend to boost the dollar, making
greenback-denominated gold more expensive for buyers using other
currencies.
    In other precious metals, silver        rose 0.7 percent to
$16.72 per ounce and platinum        was 0.5-percent higher at
$928.99. 
    Palladium        advanced 0.5 percent to $1,006 an ounce,
after rising to $1,012.10 in the previous session, its strongest
since March 1. 

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha
Gayathri and Joseph Radford)
  
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