PRECIOUS-Gold slips to 1-week low as global slowdown fears ease

April 15 (Reuters) – Gold prices fell to a more than one-week low on Monday, as stronger-than-expected data from China and a robust start to the U.S. earnings season soothed concerns about global economic slowdown, denting the appeal of bullion.


* Spot gold eased 0.1 percent to $1,288.85 per ounce as of 0109 GMT, having hit its lowest since April 5 at $1,288.40 earlier in the session.

* U.S. gold futures shed about 0.2 percent at $1,292.20 an ounce.

* Asian shares started on a firm footing on Monday and the dollar eased as risk appetite was whetted by better-than-expected data from China that helped boost confidence about the health of the world economy.

* The yen hovered near its lowest level this year on Monday as more signs of stabilisation in the Chinese economy and an upbeat start to the U.S. earnings season prompted investors to abandon the safe-haven currency to seek higher returns elsewhere.

* Chinese customs data showed on Friday that exports for the country rose 14.2 percent from the previous year in March, the strongest growth in five months.

* However, trade disputes and tighter financial conditions remain top threats to a slowing global economy, officials in the joint communique of the International Monetary Fund’s steering committee said on Saturday.

* U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday a U.S.-China trade agreement would go “way beyond” previous efforts to open China’s markets to U.S. companies and hoped that the two sides were “close to the final round” of negotiations.

* The risk that global economic growth could slow more than expected spurred a call on Friday from top finance officials for countries to overcome trade differences and opt for multilateral cooperation and “timely policy action.”

* The German government is set to halve its 2019 growth forecast for Europe’s biggest economy, a government source told Reuters on Friday, reflecting a worsening slowdown led by a recession in the manufacturing sector.

* Hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish wagers in COMEX gold and silver in the week to April 9, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

* Physical gold demand in India was robust last week as retail buyers and jewellers took advantage of a dip in domestic prices to stock up for the wedding season, while gains in the domestic currency kept premiums elevated in China amid steady demand. (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

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