Gold ticks higher on softer dollar; central bank meetings in focus

Gold prices edged higher in early Asian trade on Monday as the dollar softened ahead of key central bank policy meetings and the U.S.-North Korea summit this week, and as a weekend G7 summit fanned trade war fears.


* Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $ 1,298.78 per ounce at 0049 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures for August delivery were nearly unchanged at $ 1,302.80 per ounce.

* The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.1 percent at 93.452.

* Tightening policy by a notch just one day apart, the world’s top two central banks will hope to signal confidence in global economic growth, despite risks of a trade war, currency swings and political turbulence.

* U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Singapore on Sunday for a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that could lay the groundwork for ending a nuclear stand-off between the old foes and the transformation of the isolated Asian nation.

* The United States and Canada swung sharply towards a diplomatic and trade crisis on Sunday as top White House advisers lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a day after Trump called him “very dishonest and weak.”

* Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose country is locked in a high-stakes trade dispute with the United States, on Sunday said China rejects “selfish, shortsighted” trade policies, and called for building an open global economy.

* Speculators cut their net long position in COMEX gold by 3,169 contracts to 58,066 contracts in the week to June 5, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.46 percent to 828.76 tonnes on Friday.

* Physical gold demand was soft in major Asian hubs last week with global prices moving in a tight range, while lower retail purchases forced sellers in India to offer wider discounts during a slow period for buying the metal.

* Palladium, widely used in catalytic converters in cars, looks buoyant as visible stockpiles slide to eight-year lows, but it may become a victim of its own success if concerns over availability hasten a drive among carmakers towards substitutes.