May 16 (Reuters) - Gold prices marked time on Thursday as an
uptick in equities offset support from doubts over trade talks between
the United States and China.
* Spot gold was steady at $1,295.84 per ounce at 0103 GMT.
* U.S. gold futures edged 0.1% lower to $1,296.90 an ounce.
* Asian shares steadied on Thursday on news that U.S. President
Donald Trump is planning to delay tariffs on auto imports, providing
much needed relief to markets hit by a flare-up in trade tensions and
on weak U.S. and Chinese economic data.
* President Trump is expected to delay a decision on imposing
tariffs on imported cars and parts by up to six months, three Trump
administration officials told Reuters, avoiding opening yet another
front in his global trade battles.
* Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on
Wednesday he will likely travel to Beijing soon to continue
negotiations with Chinese counterparts as the world's two biggest
economies try to salvage talks aimed at ending their months-long trade
* However, the Trump administration hit Chinese telecoms giant
Huawei with severe sanctions on Wednesday, adding a new incendiary
element to the U.S.-China trade dispute, casting a shade over investor
optimism on the Sino-U.S. trade front.
* Escalating geopolitical tensions usually boost inflows into
* SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.44 percent to 733.23
tonnes on Wednesday from 736.46 tonnes on Tuesday.
* China Gold International's first quarter gold production fell 5%
to 44,023 ounces from 46,264, the company reported on Wednesday.
* Lonmin Plc will delay or reduce the number of jobs it had
planned to cut in South Africa as soaring palladium prices have
boosted revenue, its chief executive said, ahead of a takeover by
* The world's top platinum miners are bracing for a fresh round of
negotiations with South African workers as a rise in producer profits
is likely to provoke higher wage demands from labour unions including
the militant AMCU.
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
* 1230 U.S. Housing Starts number April
* 1230 U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Weekly
(Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)
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