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PRECIOUS-Gold rises on softer dollar, global uncertainties

Kitco News

(Updates prices)
* Gold on track for a second straight weekly gain
* Trump-Xi summit will not happen in March - Mnuchin
* Lack of clarity on Brexit should support gold - analyst


By Swati Verma


March 15 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Friday, recovering from the previous session's sharp fall, as the dollar dipped and mounting concerns about a slowdown in global economic growth buoyed demand for the safe-haven metal.


Spot gold had gained by 0.6 percent to $1,303.30 per ounce as of 0833 GMT, after shedding about 1 percent the day before. It was on track for a small weekly gain for a second consecutive week.


U.S. gold futures rose 0.6 percent to $1,302.90 an ounce.


The dollar slipped 0.2 percent against major currencies, and was on track for its biggest weekly loss since early December. "The dollar has weakened and gold as a safe-haven asset has seen support from Brexit uncertainty. As long as gold can hold the $1,290 level, it can reach the first level of $1,302 and then $1,310," said Ajay Kedia, director at Kedia Commodities in Mumbai.


"The support we are now seeing at $1,290 shows that as long as there is lack of clarity on the (Brexit) deal, gold should be holding well."


British lawmakers voted on Thursday to seek a delay in Brexit, setting the stage for Prime Minister Theresa May to renew efforts to get her divorce deal approved by the parliament next week. Providing additional support to bullion were increasing signs of a global economic slowdown, analysts said.


The Bank of Japan on Friday cut its assessment on overseas economies, saying they were showing signs of a slowdown. It also revised down its view on exports and output. Meanwhile, comments from China's Premier about a slowing economy suggest that one of the world's biggest economy is struggling, which is offering gold a bit of support, said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore. In the United States, data released on Thursday underscored growing pressure on the economy. The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week while new home sales fell more than expected in January. "Data from U.S. is not so good. So, weak U.S. data and Brexit are holding gold prices up," Kedia said, adding the prevailing uncertainty around U.S.-China trade was also supporting gold.


A summit to seal a trade deal between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will not happen at the end of March as previously discussed because more work is needed in U.S.-China negotiations, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday. In other precious metals, palladium gained 0.3 percent to $1,562.58 per ounce, and was on track for about 3 percent weekly gain.


Silver gained 1.2 percent to $15.36 an ounce, and platinum jumped 1.7 percent to $832.17.


(Reporting by Swati Verma and K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)

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