(Reuters) – Gold inched up on Friday as optimism over U.S.-China trade talks pressured the dollar, but signs the U.S. Federal Reserve could raise interest rates again this year kept prices below 10-month highs hit this week.

FILE PHOTO: An employee of the ProAurum gold house decorates, what they say is Europe’s most expensive Christmas tree, made of 2.018 Vienna philharmonic gold coins, valued at 2.3 million euros in Munich, Germany December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Dalder


Spot gold had risen 0.11 percent to $1,324.63 per ounce by 0053 GMT, after touching its strongest in 10 months on Wednesday at $1,346.73.

U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,327.5 per ounce.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was little changed at 96.582 after edging up about 0.15 percent overnight when long-term Treasury yields surged to a one-week high amid news of progress in U.S.-China trade talks.[USD/]

Top U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators resumed high-level talks on Thursday to hash out a deal that could end their trade war, just over a week before a U.S.-imposed deadline to reach agreement expires and triggers a new round of tariffs.

Meanwhile, in the minutes of its Jan. 29-30 meeting, the Fed said the U.S. economy and its labour market remained strong, prompting some expectations of at least one more rate hike this year. Higher rates tend to weigh on non-yielding gold.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will hold their second summit in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on Feb. 27-28.

Britain and the European Union on Thursday played down the chances of clinching an immediate Brexit divorce deal but diplomats said they were edging closer to a legal compromise that Prime Minister Theresa May hopes will win over the British parliament.

Russia Raised Gold Holdings by 6.2 Tonnes in January -IMF.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.63 percent to 789.51 tonnes on Thursday from 794.50 tonnes on Wednesday.

U.S. gold miner Newmont Mining Corp beat analyst estimates for quarterly profit on Thursday, boosted by higher gold production in its Colorado and Ghana mines and lower costs.

Workers led by South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) plan to down tools at gold and platinum mines next week in support of colleagues at Sibanye-Stillwater who are striking over wages and job cuts.

The world’s biggest undeveloped gold and copper mining project, planned in southwestern Alaska near the largest fishery for sockeye salmon globally, moved a step closer to approval on Wednesday after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a draft environmental impact statement.

Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford


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