Commodities

PRECIOUS-Gold edges lower as equities recover, dollar firms

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(Updates prices, adds details and comments)

* World stocks bounce after worst week of year

* Investors await U.S. retail sales data

* Platinum touches near three-week low

March 11 (Reuters) – Gold slipped on Monday after briefly breaching $1,300 per ounce on Friday, as equity markets regained some ground and the dollar hovered near a three-month peak..

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent to $1,295.85 per ounce at 1117 GMT, while U.S. gold futures slipped 0.2 percent to $1,296.20. Spot prices hit $1,300.61 on Friday.

“We’re just having a counter reaction to the run up on Friday following the U.S. jobs report. Since then, we had a decent recovery in the stock markets and it just removed the initial excitement,” Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said.

Some profit-taking after prices failed to sustain a break above the $1,300 level also weighed on gold, Hansen said.

Equity markets rose on potential economic stimulus from China, following their worst week of the year due to a darkening global economic scenario, exacerbated by a weak U.S. jobs report on Friday.

The overall momentum for bullion, considered a safe refuge during times of political and economic uncertainty, was positive, analysts said, with the metal having gained about 12 percent since touching over one-and-a-half year lows in August.

“Structurally gold is well positioned to move higher over the coming months. As the world economy continues to slow and uncertainty increases, it’s going to be supportive for gold,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

Adding to slowdown worries, German industrial output fell unexpectedly in January, while the Bank of France trimmed its first-quarter economic growth forecast.

“We’re facing a slowdown, how severe we don’t know yet. However, most central banks will go back to stimulating by cutting interest rates,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. central bank does “not feel any hurry” to change the level of interest rates again as it watches how a slowing global economy affects conditions in the U.S.

Adding to the Fed’s case for patient rate hikes, the U.S. economy created only 20,000 jobs last month, the weakest since September 2017.

Investors are now eyeing the U.S. retail sales due at 1330 GMT and a key Brexit vote in the British parliament on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, palladium rose 0.2 percent to 1,516.90 per ounce, while silver was flat at $15.31.

Platinum was down 0.6 percent at $810.13 per ounce, after matching a low since Feb. 19, at $806.50, last touched on Friday. (Reporting by Sumita Layek and K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru Editing by Alexander Smith)

Source

neallesh@yahoo.co.uk

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