April 8, 2019 / 1:18 AM / 7 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold treads water as solid U.S. jobs data lifts risk assets

April 8 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed on Monday as strong U.S. jobs data boosted investors’ appetite for riskier assets, with markets awaiting minutes of the Federal Reserve’s March meeting later this week.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.1 at $1,293.21 per ounce by 0105 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures gained 0.1 percent at $1,297.10 an ounce.

* Asian shares edged higher on Monday as investors cheered a much-needed rebound in U.S. payrolls, while looking forward to more policy stimulus in China.

* U.S. employment growth accelerated from a 17-month low in March, assuaging fears of an abrupt slowdown in economic activity, but a moderation in wage gains supported the Federal Reserve’s decision to suspend further interest rate increases this year.

* Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting are due on Wednesday.

* U.S. and Chinese negotiators wrapped up their latest round of trade talks on Friday and are scheduled to resume discussions this week to try to secure a pact that would end the tariff battle that has roiled global markets.

* Britain’s opposition Labour Party said on Friday talks with the government on a last-ditch Brexit deal had made no progress, as EU leaders said Prime Minister Theresa May had not convinced them that they should let Britain delay its departure this week.

* China’s foreign exchange reserves rose for a fifth straight month in March, with the increase exceeding expectations, as growing optimism about the prospects for a U.S.-China trade deal offset concerns over slowing economic growth.

* The value of China’s gold reserves fell slightly to $78.525 billion from $79.498 billion at the end of February.

* Physical gold demand perked up in top bullion consumer China on a dip in prices and optimism surrounding a U.S.-China trade deal, while buying picked up pace in the Indian market as domestic rates fell ahead of a key festival.

* Hedge funds and money managers slashed their bullish wagers in COMEX gold in the week to April 2, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.12 percent to 761.67 tonnes on Friday, from 762.55 tonnes on Thursday.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

1400 U.S. Factory Orders February

1400 Federal Reserve board holds open meeting to discuss proposed rules implementing sections of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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