* Spot gold down 0.6 pct so far this week
* SPDR Gold holdings down for 5th session
* Trump says won't meet China's Xi before March 1 deadline
* EU slashes euro zone growth outlook
By Sethuraman N R
Feb 8 (Reuters) - Gold held steady on Friday on worries that a
prolonged Sino-U.S. trade war could worsen global economic slowdown,
but a strong dollar put bullion on track for its first weekly loss in
Spot gold was steady at $1,309 per ounce, as of 0700 GMT, after
the metal hit its lowest since Jan. 29 at $1,302.11 on Thursday.
U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,312.70.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he did not plan to
meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline set
by the two countries to achieve a trade deal. The two countries had
taken a 90-day hiatus in their trade war to work out a deal.
Stocks pulled back sharply around the world on fears of a global
growth slowdown spreading to Europe and uncertainties around
U.S.-China trade tensions.
"Some of our growth indicators are clearly seeing easing
global activity and trade volumes are being hit. That makes people
cautious and could derive support for gold around $1,300-$1,330
range," said John Sharma, an economist with National Australian Bank.
The European Commission on Thursday sharply cut its forecasts for
euro zone economic growth this year and next on expectations the
bloc's largest countries will be held back by global trade tensions
and domestic challenges.
"People are still not sure in what direction the trade war
might go," Sharma said, adding that the U.S. dollar's strength
was also capping gold's gains.
The dollar index , a gauge of its value versus six major peers,
was hovering close to its two-week high.
Bullion prices have risen about 13 percent since touching over
1-1/2-year lows in August, mostly due to volatile stock markets, a
pull-back in dollar and dovish U.S. Federal Reserve.
But, a strong dollar, which makes bullion more expensive for
holders of other currencies, has driven gold down 0.6 percent for this
"Macro concerns in the global economy continue to underpin
gold's safe haven status, and the buying interest just happens to be
accumulating around the $1,300 level," said Ronan Manly, precious
metals analyst at Singapore-based dealer BullionStar.
Gold's pull back from a nine-month high of $1,326.30 touched last
week has driven outflows in the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust .
SPDR gold holdings fell for a fifth straight session on Thursday,
shedding over 1 percent for the week in what could be their worst fall
since the week ended Oct. 7.
Among other precious metals, palladium eased 0.2 percent to
$1,381.90 an ounce, silver was down 0.4 percent at $15.65 and
platinum was 0.4 percent lower at $792.
(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu and Rashmi Aich)
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