April 13, 2018 / 1:12 AM / 8 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steadies, on track for second week of gains

    BENGALURU, April 13 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Friday
after posting its biggest percentage fall in over two weeks in
the previous session, and was set to post a small gain for a
second week running amid tensions over Syria and a U.S.-China
trade stand-off.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        rose 0.2 percent to $1,337.17 an ounce as
of 0046 GMT, and was set for a weekly gain of 0.3 percent. U.S.
gold futures         fell 0.2 percent to $1,339.90 an ounce. 
    * Gold prices dropped 1.3 percent on Thursday, the biggest
one-day percentage fall since March 28, a day after bullion
climbed to its highest in 11-weeks.
    * President Donald Trump and his national security aides on
Thursday discussed U.S. options on Syria, where he has
threatened missile strikes in response to a suspected poison gas
attack, as a Russian envoy voiced fears of wider conflict
between Washington and Moscow.             
    * British Prime Minister Theresa May summoned her senior
ministers to a special cabinet meeting on Thursday to discuss
joining the United States and France in possible military action
against Syria after a suspected poison gas attack on civilians.
            
    * World trade in goods is maintaining a robust recovery, but
it still might falter if trade tensions escalate further, the
World Trade Organization said in its annual forecast on
Thursday.             
    * China's commerce ministry said on Thursday trade
negotiations with the United States would be impossible as
Washington's attempts at dialogue were not sincere, and vowed to
retaliate if U.S. President Donald Trump escalates current
tensions.             
    * New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell last
week, pointing to sustained labor market strength despite a
sharp slowdown in job growth in March.             
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.69 percent to 865.89
tonnes on Thursday.          
    * Global silver physical demand dropped to its lowest level
in five years during 2017, led largely by a steep decline in
coin and bar demand, even as industrial demand increased,
according to Thomson Reuters GFMS.             
    * South Africa's gold output dropped 7.1 percent year on
year in February, Statistics South Africa monthly mining
production data showed on Thursday.             
    
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
    *     China     Trade data                             March
    0900  Euro zone Eurostat trade                      February
    1400  U.S.    University of Michigan sentiment index   April
      
    *No fixed timing

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; editing by Richard
Pullin)
  
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