March 02, 2018
PRECIOUS-Gold inches up as dollar dips on Trump's tariff decision
(Reuters) - Gold prices rose slightly on Friday as thedollar eased on fears of an imminent trade war following U.S. President DonaldTrump's decision to impose steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminium.
Spot gold had risen by 0.1 percent to $1,316.84 an ounceby 0412 GMT, but was on track for a second straight weekly drop after havingdeclined 0.9 percent so far.
Prices fell to the lowest since Jan. 2, at $1,302.61, inthe previous session under pressure from expectations of more interest ratehikes in the United States than expected this year.
U.S. gold futures were up almost 1 percent at $1,317.7per ounce on Friday.
"The U.S. imposed trade tariffs and those that comeback our way in the form of retaliation should be net negative for the dollarand could conceivably provide gold with some support," INTL FCStone analystEdward Meir said in a note.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against abasket of major currencies, was down 0.2 percent at 90.171. It shed 0.4 percentovernight, pulling back from a six-week high of 90.932 touched early onThursday, after Trump's decision.
The Trump administration said the tariffs would protectU.S. industry, but the dollar and Wall Street shares slumped as the plansparked fears of a trade war and worries about its potentially negative impacton the world's largest economy.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said onThursday there was no evidence the U.S. economy is overheating, and labourmarkets may still have room to improve as the central bank sticks with agradual pace of rate hikes.
The precious metals market would continue looking out forinterest rates along with the dollar's movement, said Dick Poon, generalmanager at Heraeus Metals Hong Kong Ltd.
A stronger dollar and higher interest rates reduce demandfor non-interest bearing gold as the metal becomes more expensive for holdersof other currencies.
"Weaker equity markets could also provide a shot inthe arm for the precious metal," said Meir.
Stock markets in Asia on Friday extended a Wall Streetrout as the risk of global trade war spooked investors.
Spot gold is expected to bounce more into a range of $1,325-$1,332per ounce, following its failure to break a support at $1,303, according toReuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust rose 0.35 percent to 833.98tonnes on Thursday from 831.03 tonnes on Wednesday.
In other precious metals, silver was down 0.3 percent at$16.41 an ounce after touching its lowest in over two months at $16.16 in theprevious session.
Platinum was 0.1 percent lower at $965.40 per ounce afterfalling to its lowest since Jan. 4 at $950.50 on Thursday.
Palladium rose 0.2 percent to $991 after recording itsbiggest one-day percentage fall of 5.1 percent since Jan. 25, 2017, in theprevious session.