PRECIOUS-Gold firms as dollar eases on U.S.-China trade hopes


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    * Platinum rebounds from more than one-month low
    * U.S., China face March 1 deadline for trade deal

 (Updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    Feb 12 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Tuesday,
buoyed by a slight retreat in the U.S. dollar amid optimism
about a potential resolution of the U.S.-China trade conflict.
    Spot gold  XAU=  was up 0.2 percent at $1,310.95 an ounce at
1:48 p.m. EST (1848 GMT), having declined 0.4 percent in the
previous session. 
    U.S. gold futures  GCv1  settled 0.2 percent higher at
    "Gold is likely to be quiet for the remainder of the week
pending news on the U.S.-China trade talks, and the U.S.
government shutdown," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market
strategist at RJO Futures.
    "If there is an announcement that the government is going to
be open and if there's a breakthrough in trade talks, gold will
initially sell off, but traders want to own gold right now with
the U.S. Federal Reserve being dovish."
    The dollar index  .DXY , which tracks the greenback against
six major currencies, eased on Tuesday, after its longest
winning streak in two years which was partly buoyed by investors
piling into it as a preferred refuge amid worries over the trade
row.  USD/ 
    In the latest development surrounding a logjam in Washington
over funding for a border wall with Mexico, President Donald
Trump said he had yet to decide whether to support an agreement
reached by congressional negotiators to avert another partial
government shutdown that includes no funds for the wall.*:nL1N2070KZ
    Gold's momentum was held in check by increased appetite for
riskier assets, with world stock markets gaining on expectations
of a trade agreement between Washington and Beijing.  MKTS/GLOB 
    U.S. and Chinese officials expressed hopes that a new round
of talks, which began in Beijing on Monday, would bring them
closer to easing a nearly year-long trade war.*:nL3N20614C*:nL1N2070ZU
    "A U.S.-China trade deal could boost the yuan, allowing
Chinese investors to purchase more gold than would otherwise be
the case," analyst Fawad Razaqzada said in a note.
    Investors will also be watching for further clarity on the
Fed's monetary policy going forward, analysts said.
    Spot gold rose to its highest since late April at $1,326.30
in January, after the Fed kept interest rates steady and said it
would be patient on further hikes amid a cloudy outlook for the
U.S. economy due to global growth concerns. 
    On the technical front, "if we now see short-term resistance
break around $1,315, then this could lead to further technical
follow-up buying pressure toward - and possibly beyond -
January's high of $1,326,"'s Razaqzada added.
    Meanwhile, palladium  XPD=  gained 0.8 percent to $1,397 an
ounce, while silver  XAG=  rose 0.1 percent to $15.71.
    Platinum  XPT=  climbed 0.4 percent to $784.50 an ounce,
having touched its lowest since Jan. 2 at $779.50 in the
previous session.

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Swati Verma in Bengaluru)
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