Feb 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices stood firm at two-week highs on
Monday as the dollar inched lower, while equities rose on increased
expectations of a U.S.-China trade deal, capping bullion's gains.
* Spot gold inched 0.1 percent higher to $1,321.69 per ounce at
0037 GMT. The metal hit a near 9-month high of $1,326.3 an ounce on
* U.S. gold futures rose 0.2 percent to $1,324.9 an ounce.
* The dollar index , a gauge of its value versus six major peers
was steady at 96.91.
* The United States and China will resume trade talks this week in
Washington with time running short to ease their bruising trade war,
but U.S. President Donald Trump repeated on Friday that he may extend
a March 1 deadline for a deal and keep tariffs on Chinese goods from
* Chinese state news agency Xinhua said on Friday that the world's
two largest economies had reached a "consensus in principle"
on some key issues, adding they had a detailed discussion on a
memorandum of understanding on trade and economic issues. It gave no details.
* Meanwhile, Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a
bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without
congressional approval, an action Democrats vowed to challenge as a
violation of the U.S. Constitution.
* California will "imminently" challenge President
Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency to obtain funds for
a U.S.-Mexico border wall, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said
* Britain's Theresa May plans to speak to every European Union
leader and the European Commission chief to seek changes to her EU
withdrawal agreement, days after another defeat from her own lawmakers
and as businesses brace for a no-deal Brexit on March 29.
* A rally in domestic prices curtailed physical gold demand in
India and Japan last week, with interest in the precious metal
lacklustre in other Asian centres as markets gradually return from the
Lunar New Year holidays.
* SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.48 percent to 793.03
tonnes on Friday from 796.85 tonnes on Thursday.
* Spot palladium prices surged on Friday to match an all-time
high of $1,434.50, touched on Jan. 17, buoyed by expectations of a
widening market deficit this year.
* In Zimbabwe, rescuers pulled the bodies of at least 22 illegal
gold miners out of shafts west of Harare that were flooded earlier in
the week, and rescued eight more alive, officials and witnesses said
(Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; editing by
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