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Gold prices gain as dollar weakens amid trade war fears

Gold prices rose early on Monday as the dollar remained pressured amid fears of a global trade war following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel.

* Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,324.13 an ounce at 0056 GMT. Prices rose 0.5 percent in the previous session, its biggest one-day percentage gain since Feb. 22.

* U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,325.4 per ounce.

* The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was flat at 89.900, after falling against most currencies on Friday.

* Asian shares hovered near 2-1/2 week lows and the safe-haven yen rose on Monday amid fears of a global trade war, while the euro pared gains as investors worried Italy’s national elections could deliver an anti-establishment government.

* Trump struck a defiant tone on Friday, saying trade wars were good and easy to win, after his plan to put tariffs on steel and aluminum imports triggered threats of retaliation from trading partners and a slide in stock markets.

* Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) decisively backed another coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives on Sunday, clearing the way for a new government in Europe’s largest economy after months of political uncertainty.

* Italy’s national elections are likely to produce a hung parliament, exit polls on Rai state television and private channel La 7 showed after voting ended on Sunday.

* Hedge funds and money managers increased their net short position in silver contracts to a record high in the week to Feb. 27, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

* Gold dealers cut their net long position by 29,684 contracts to 157,634 contracts in the week to Feb. 27, according to the CFTC. This was the lowest net long position since early January.

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