March 4, 2019 / 1:28 AM / in 3 months

PRECIOUS-Gold steadies as dollar wilts on Sino-U.S. trade deal hopes

March 4 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Monday, after falling below the critical $1,300 level in the previous session, as the dollar dipped on the prospect of a trade deal between China and the United States.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up about 0.3 percent at $1,296.52 per ounce as of 0124 GMT, after touching its lowest in more than a month at 1,289.91 in the previous session. Gold fell 2.6 percent last week on a firmer dollar and global stock advances.

* U.S. gold futures were down 0.2 percent at $1,297.10 an ounce.

* The dollar, which pulled back from over three-week lows in the previous session, was down about 0.1 percent against major currencies.

* U.S. stock futures jumped on Monday on reports the United States and China were close to striking a trade deal after a year-long tariff skirmish.

* U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could reach a formal trade deal at a summit around March 27 given progress in talks between the two countries, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

* Trump said he had asked China to immediately remove all tariffs on U.S. agricultural products because trade talks were progressing well and delayed plans to impose 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday.

* British Prime Minister Theresa May will on Monday set out plans for a 1.6 billion pound ($2.1 billion) fund to help to boost economic growth in Brexit-supporting communities, particularly in the north of England.

* A group of Brexit-supporting lawmakers who rejected May’s European Union exit deal in January have set out the changes they want to see her agreement on in return for their support.

* Gold demand in India improved this week due to a fall in local prices, while some investors in other major Asian centres sold the metal back to make use of relatively higher prices while delaying purchases on expectations of a further correction.

* An underground blast in a gold mine in the Brazilian state of Bahia on Friday killed two workers, Canadian company Leagold Mining Corp said.

* The 2018 death toll in South Africa’s mines fell slightly, to 81 fatalities from 90 in the previous year, the Mineral Resources Ministry said on Friday.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 1.50 percent to 772.46 tonnes on Friday.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0930 UK Markit/CIPS Construction PMI (Feb) 1500 U.S. Construction Spending (Dec) (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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