PRECIOUS-Gold flat as rising equities counter safe haven demand


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    * Shares gain after Trump's auto-tariff delay
    * Trump to delay auto tariffs decision by up to 6 months
    * U.S. retail sales, industrial output fall in April

 (Adds analyst comments, updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel and K. Sathya Narayanan
    May 15 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Wednesday as share
markets rose but concerns about global economic growth and the
U.S.-China trade fight kept the metal supported near a one-month
    Spot gold  XAU=  was steady at $1,296.64 per ounce as of
2:07 p.m. EDT (1807 GMT). U.S. gold futures  GCv1  settled up
0.1% at $1,297.80 an ounce.
    "There are lot of irons in the fire from a geo-political
standpoint. Iran is a part of it, but the main one is the
U.S.-China trade talks, which doesn't seem to be going anywhere
at this point," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at
RJO Futures.*:nL2N22Q1AW
    Concerns that the trade dispute between two world's biggest
economies could be protracted and impact the global economy have
boosted bullion's appeal over the past couple of days.*:nL2N22Q0HW
    The metal, often seen as an alternative investment during
times of political and financial uncertainty, rose to its
highest level since April 11 at $1,303.26 on Tuesday.
    "There is no doubt that what is holding up gold prices is
the China trade deal concerns ... but after Trump's announcement
of a delay in auto tariffs, investors are caught between and
don't know which way to go. That's why you are seeing flat
activity (at the moment)," said an analyst based in New York.
    Gold erased earlier gains as U.S. and European stock indexes
turned positive Wednesday after news that U.S. President Donald
Trump planned to delay tariffs on auto imports.  MKTS/GLOB*:nL2N22R0RO
    "Treasuries are still going higher which shows that there is
safety buying going on," Haberkorn added.
    Treasury yields fell, with the two-year yield at its lowest
in 15 months as traders raised bets on a Federal Reserve rate
cut after U.S. retail sales missed expectations.  US/ 
    U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in April as households
cut back on purchases of motor vehicles and a range of other
goods. Another report showed declining output of cars and
machinery led to a surprise fall in U.S. factory production for
    China also reported surprisingly weaker growth in retail
sales and industrial output for April on Wednesday.*:nL4N22R1OC
    "Major focus now is the global economy and concerns about
the economy are keeping gold up and so market participants have
their eyes peeled for any signs of weakness," the New York based
analyst said.
    Among other precious metals, silver  XAG=  was up 0.1% at
$14.80 an ounce, while platinum  XPT=  fell 1.6% to $842.
    Palladium  XPD=  rose 0.4% to $1,341.51 an ounce.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel and K. Sathya Narayanan in
Editing by Matthew Lewis and Tom Brown)
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