October 15, 2019 / 1:28 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady ahead of crucial Brexit talks

Oct 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady below the $1,500 per ounce level on Tuesday as markets braced for talks between Britain and the European Union that will determine how smooth Britain’s departure will be from the trading bloc.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold were flat at $1,492.83 per ounce, as of 0105 GMT. U.S. gold futures were a shade lower at $1,496.90.

* Asian shares edged higher on hopes that Britain could clinch a deal to smooth its departure from the European Union before the scheduled date of Oct. 31.

* Officials from Britain and the EU will meet at a make-or-break summit on Thursday and Friday that will determine whether or not Britain is headed for a so-called no-deal Brexit.

* However, diplomats indicated the bloc wanted more concessions from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and said a full agreement was unlikely this week.

* Dearth of fresh news on U.S.-China trade talks kept markets on the edge.

* U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday that an additional round of tariffs on Chinese imports will likely be imposed if a trade deal with China has not been reached by December, but added that he expected the agreement to go through.

* Late on Friday, the United States outlined the first phase of a trade deal and suspended this week’s scheduled tariff hikes on Chinese goods, but existing tariffs remained in place and officials on both sides said much more work was needed before an accord could be agreed.

* Markets also look for signs the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at its next meeting later in the month.

* Elsewhere, Australia’s Newcrest Mining Ltd, the country’s biggest gold producer, said on Tuesday it will go ahead with a $685 million first-stage expansion of its flagship Cadia mine in New South Wales.

* Zimbabwe expects to increase diamond production to 11 million carats by 2023 from 3.2 million carats last year, the mines minister said on Monday, part of an ambitious plan to raise mining output and earn the country $12 billion a year.

DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT)

0130 China PPI YY Sept

0130 China CPI YY Sept

0400 Indonesia Trade Balance Sept

0645 France CPI (EU Norm) Final MM, YY Sept

0830 UK Claimant Count Unemployment Change Sept

0830 UK ILO Unemployment Rate Aug

0830 UK Bank of England publishes record of October

Financial Policy Committee meeting

0900 Germany ZEW Economic Sentiment Oct

0900 Germany ZEW Current Conditions Oct

1800 EU Reserve Assets Total Sept (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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