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Gold crawls higher, but still near six-month low

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Reuters BENGALURU
By Karen Rodrigues
BENGALURU (Reuters) - Gold prices inched up on Thursday as the latest developments in the U.S.-China trade row led to a slight retreat in the dollar, but was still near a six-month low hit in the previous session.
Spot gold was 0.1 percent higher at $1,252.74 an ounce, as of 0400 GMT. In the previous session, the metal touched $1,250.30, its lowest since mid-December.
U.S. gold futures for August delivery were down 0.2 percent at $1,254.20 an ounce.
"There's a little bit of a pullback in the U.S. dollar, so that explains some recovery in gold," said Helen Lau, analyst at Argonaut Securities.
A weaker greenback makes dollar-denominated gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.
The dollar held steady against its rivals on Thursday, though it failed to build on overnight gains amid conflicting signals from Washington on a proposal to restrict Chinese investment as the bitter U.S.-China trade row kept financial markets on edge.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he will use a strengthened national security review process to thwart Chinese acquisitions of sensitive American technologies, a softer approach than imposing China-specific investment restrictions.
However, gold prices which usually rise in times political and economic uncertainty, have gained little support from these trade tensions, while expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike interest rates have pressured bullion.
"The dollar may continue to strengthen because of rising U.S. interest rates and yields. That is all the key reason that makes holding gold unattractive," Lau added.
Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren on Wednesday said the central bank should continue to gradually raise interest rates to lower the risk of a major policy error.
The U.S. economy is growing at a 4.5 percent annualized rate in the second quarter following the latest data on home sales and advance trade balance released this week, the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow forecast model showed.
The Fed is expected to raise interest rates at least four times this year, which will likely dent gold prices.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.36 percent to 821.69 tonnes on Wednesday.
In other precious metals, spot silver was 0.4 percent higher at $16.10 an ounce.
Palladium rose 0.3 percent to $950.45 an ounce, while platinum fell 0.3 percent to $853.80 per ounce.
(Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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First Published: Jun 28 2018 | 4:17 PM IST

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