Gold near three-week lows as dollar, equities rise

(Reuters) – Gold inched up on Tuesday, but was trading near a more than three-week low touched in the previous session as the U.S. dollar strengthened and equities rose.

FILE PHOTO: Gold bars at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant ‘Oegussa’ in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold gained 0.1 percent to $1,288.30 per ounce by 0057 GMT, after touching its lowest since March 8 at $1,286.25 in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures were down about 0.1 percent at $1,293.40 an ounce.

The dollar was up 0.1 percent against key rivals, trading close to a three-week high posted in the previous session as ebbing concerns about the global economy pushed U.S. bond yields up from 15-month lows.

Asia shares extended a recent rally on Tuesday, as investor confidence got a boost from positive factory data out of China and the United States.

U.S. manufacturing activity rebounded a bit more than expected in March, according to an industry report released on Monday, as production, new orders and hiring all picked up.

U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in February, but a rebound in factory activity in March and strong increase in construction spending offered hope the economy was not slowing as sharply as previously feared.

U.S. consumer spending rebounded less than expected in January and incomes rose modestly in February.

Factory activity remained weak around the world last month, reinforcing worries of a global slowdown as forward-looking indicators pointed to gloomy times ahead, surveys showed on Monday.

Euro zone headline and core inflation slowed in March, flash estimates showed on Monday, supporting the European Central Bank’s decision to delay a planned tightening of monetary policy.

Britain was no nearer to resolving the chaos surrounding its departure from the European Union after parliament failed on Monday to find a majority of its own for any alternative to Prime Minister Theresa May’s divorce deal.

China raised its gold holdings by 9.95 tonnes in February, according to data from the International Monetary Fund.

The Perth Mint said on Monday its gold products sales in March surged about 68 percent from the previous month, touching the highest level since November last year.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 1.5 percent on Monday.

Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin

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