December 31, 2019 / 1:22 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady, set for best year since 2010

    Dec 31 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady on Tuesday,
holding below a more than two-month peak hit in the previous
session, as weakness in the dollar countered optimism about the
United States and China signing an interim trade deal soon.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was little changed at $1,515.23 per ounce
by 0044 GMT. Prices hit their highest since Oct. 25 at $1,516.20
in the previous session. U.S. gold futures        were unchanged
at $1,518.30.
    * Gold prices are set to post their best year since 2010,
having gained about 18%, mainly driven by a tariff war between
the world's two largest economies and quantitative easing by
major central banks.
    * The dollar        edged lower against a basket of rivals,
making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies. On Friday,
the index suffered its biggest one-day fall since March.
    * The White House's trade adviser said on Monday the
U.S.-China Phase 1 deal would be signed next week, but said
confirmation would come from President Donald Trump or the U.S.
Trade Representative.             
    * The South China Morning Post reported on Monday Chinese
Vice Premier Liu He would visit Washington this week to sign the
deal.             
    * Speculators raised their bullish positions in COMEX gold
contracts in the week to Dec. 24.             
    * China's net gold imports via Hong Kong in November plunged
72% from the previous month to their lowest in nearly nine
years, data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department
showed on Monday.              
    * Among other precious metals, silver        rose 0.1%
to$17.93 per ounce, while platinum        gained 0.4% to $961.27
and palladium        edged up 0.1% at $1,907.66 per ounce.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)
0600  Russia Markit Services PMI          Dec
0700* Turkey Trade Balance                Nov
0800* Switzerland Official Reserves Assets Nov
1000* Brazil TJLP Lending Rate            Q1
1400  U.S. CaseShiller 20 House Prices    Oct
1500  U.S. Consumer Confidence            Dec
*approximate release time

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
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