* China GDP in line with consensus, activity data strong
* Platinum hits more than one-week high
* Spot gold looks neutral in $1,404-$1,421 range - technicals
* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns:
By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
July 15 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Monday after data showed
Chinese economic growth slowed to its weakest in about 27 years, while
gains in equities curbed demand for bullion as investors latched onto
some positive readings from the world's second-biggest economy.
China's second-quarter annual GDP growth fell to a 27-year low of
6.2%, as expected, but its quarterly growth reading of 1.6% beat
forecasts. June reports on industrial production, retail sales and
urban investment were above expectations.
Spot gold was little changed at $1,415.51 per ounce as of 1123
GMT, reversing some losses ahead of the data. U.S. gold futures
rose 0.4% to $1,417.50.
"Markets expected gold prices to push higher given that
Chinese growth was the slowest in almost 30 years. However, if you
look at the bigger picture, it is still above the 6% level ... Hence
we're seeing this mixed reaction with gold," said Lukman Otunuga,
research analyst at FXTM.
China's trading partners and financial markets are closely
watching as the Sino-U.S. trade war gets longer and costlier, fuelling
worries of a global recession.
World shares rose towards an 18-month high following the data.
"Gold is waiting for a fresh directional catalyst. Today is a
slow start for gold, but that doesn't mean it's going to be a slow
week," Otunuga added.
Investors await other data this week, such as U.S. retail sales
and industrial production, for clues about the health of the world's
largest economy. The U.S. Federal Reserve releases its "Beige
Book" on Wednesday, which markets will watch for comments on how
trade tensions have affected the business outlook.
Gold gained 1.1% last week on the back of expectations of an
interest rate cut by the U.S. central bank, which also weighed on the
The outlook for gold remains positive, analysts said, with the
metal likely to stay supported on expectations of a Fed rate cut and
concerns of a global growth slowdown.
"The overall growth picture still looks weak. With further
tensions around (U.S.-China) trade talks and geopolitical concerns in
the Middle East, the need for gold as a hedge still remains
strong," said Howie Lee, economist at OCBC Bank.
Spot gold looks neutral in a narrow range of $1,404-$1,421 per
ounce, and an escape could suggest a direction, Reuters technical
analyst Wang Tao said.
Palladium rose about 1% to $1,558.64 an ounce, while silver added
0.7% to $15.32. Platinum gained 1.5% to $839.51, marking a one-week
(Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by
Dale Hudson and Mark Potter)
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