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PRECIOUS-Gold set for 1st monthly gain in 4 on Trump tariff threat, Fed cut hopes


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* Spot gold has risen 0.7% so far this month

* Platinum heading for biggest monthly loss since Nov. 2015

* Silver on track for fourth straight monthly loss (Updates prices)

May 31 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday, headingtowards their first monthly gain since January on increasedsafe-haven demand, after U.S. President Donald Trump vowed tolevy tariffs on all Mexican imports, ratcheting up concerns of aglobal economic slowdown.

The new threat of tariffs on Mexico, coupled with a stringof soggy economic data from the United States this month and thelong-drawn Sino-U.S. trade war, also translated into increasedbets that the U.S. Federal Reserve could cut interest rates thisyear.

Spot gold XAU= was up 0.3% at $1,292.78 per ounce at 0617GMT. It has risen about 0.7% so far this month.

The metal is also on track for a second consecutive weeklygain, up about 0.6% over the week.

U.S. gold futures GCcv1 rose 0.4% to $1,292.60 an ounce.

An infuriated Trump on Thursday vowed to impose a tariff onall goods coming from Mexico starting at 5% and ratchetinghigher until the flow of illegal immigrants into the UnitedStates ceases. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2360GK

Asian shares and sovereign bonds sank on the news asinvestors feared the move risked tipping the United States, andmaybe the whole world, into recession. MKTS/GLOB

"Donald Trump's (threat) about U.S. tariffs on Mexico,sparked some fears in the market. And if the whole U.S. andChina negotiation is any example this can drag much longer,"said David Song, an analyst at DailyFX.

"With this kind of push from the Trump administration wewill see whether or not the Fed will continue to have thatflexibility to retain its wait and see approach," Song added.

Lower interest rates would support gold since it reduces theopportunity cost of holding the non-yielding asset.

Overnight, data showed that U.S. inflation was much weakerthan initially thought in the first quarter amid a sharpslowdown in domestic demand, which could cast doubts on theFed's view that the benign price pressures were largely becauseof temporary factors. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2350RY

However, "over the near term, a strong dollar will weighdown on commodities in general," said Heng Koon How, head ofmarkets strategy, United Overseas Bank.

"But our long term view is that gold will recover to $1,450an ounce by middle of 2020 as safe haven in-flows and portfoliodiversification needs increase to gold's advantage."

The dollar index .DXY was on track for a 0.5% gain thisweek supported by weakness in peers such as the euro andsterling, and the U.S. currency's own status as a safe-haven intimes of market and economic troubles. FRX/

Elsewhere, silver XAG= edged 0.1% lower to $14.51 perounce and was heading for fourth straight monthly loss.

Platinum XPT= was steady at $791.86 per ounce, havingfallen to its lowest level since Feb. 15 at $784.42 in theprevious session. The metal was on track for its biggest monthlyloss since Nov. 2015, down 10.9% so far.

Palladium XPD= fell 0.2% to $1,365 per ounce, not far awayfrom a peak since May 1 at $1,380.75 it touched in the previoussession. (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by JosephRadford and Rashmi Aich) ((Arijit.Bose@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832,Outside U.S. +91 8067495254; Reuters Messaging:Arijit.Bose.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))






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