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PRECIOUS-Gold rangebound as investors eye trade talks; weak data supports
Published at 15/02/2019 at 07:44

(Adds comments, updates prices)

* Spot gold to revisit Jan. 31 high of $1,326.30-technicals

* Silver, platinum on track for second weekly losses

* Platinum hovering near 2-month lows

* Palladium on track for second straight weekly gain

By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri

Feb 15 - Gold traded in a tight $4 range on Friday as investors looked for signs of progress in ongoing U.S.-China trade talks, while concerns of a global slowdown in the wake of sombre economic data out of United States and China provided underlying support.

Spot gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,313.66 per ounce as of 0722 GMT, while U.S. gold futures gained 0.2 percent to $1,316.90.

"The market is just waiting for a breakthrough. So long as China-U.S. trade concerns are lingering in the market, investors are in ambiguity about where they should go," said Vandana Bharti, assistant vice-president of commodity research at SMC Comtrade Ltd.

Two White House negotiators will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping later on Friday, but there has been no decision to extend a U.S. deadline for a deal by March 1, U.S. President Donald Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday.

U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China are scheduled to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent if the two sides don't reach a deal by then.

Investors have, since last year, sought safety from the U.S.-China trade dispute in the greenback, which was marginally higher on Friday, capping gold's gains.

Spot gold is expected to revisit its Jan. 31 high of $1,326.30 per ounce, as suggested by its wave pattern and a retracement analysis, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Gold had gained 0.5 percent in the previous session, its biggest intraday gain since Jan. 30, as disappointing U.S. economic data increased expectations that the Federal Reserve would stick to its dovish stance on monetary policy.

Weak U.S. retail sales data fanned concerns of slowing economic momentum in the world's largest economy, while China's factory-gate inflation slowed for a seventh straight month in January to its weakest pace since September 2016 .

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered another defeat on her Brexit strategy on Thursday, adding to worries that the United Kingdom is on course to leave the European Union on March 29 without a deal.

"Until there is resolution to these global concerns we might see gold prices rangebound between $1,305 and $1,326," said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore.

In other precious metals, palladium was down 0.1 percent at $1,413.50 per ounce. The metal was still on track for a second consecutive weekly gain, up about 0.9 percent so far.

Platinum fell 0.2 percent to $784.25 an ounce, having fallen to its lowest level since Dec. 11 in the previous session. It was set for a second straight weekly fall.

Silver eased 0.1 percent to $15.61 and about 1.5 percent so far this week, which could be its second weekly decline.

(Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri; Additional reporting by Swati Verma in BENGALURU; Editing by Tom Hogue and Shreejay Sinha)

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