BENGALURU, April 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged down early
on Friday as global political tensions eased, but expectations
for rising inflation supported demand for the safe-have asset.
    * Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,344.20 an
ounce at 0044 GMT, while U.S. gold futures         fell 0.2
percent to $1,346.60 per ounce. Spot gold is also down 0.1
percent so far this week.
    * U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he hoped a
summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be successful,
while Western missile strikes in Syria were less extensive than
some had feared.             
    * Investors were also relieved that no new U.S. demands on
trade came out of a summit between Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump.             
    * Asian shares slipped on Friday as a warning on smartphone
demand from the world's largest contract chipmaker slugged the
tech sector, while lofty oil prices stirred inflation fears and
undermined sovereign bonds.            
    * The relatively optimistic backdrop in the United States
should support the Federal Reserve in raising short-term rates
at least twice more in 2018, traders and analysts said.
    The U.S. economy, while not firing on all cylinders, has
remained on a steady growth path which has assured the Fed it
should stick with its current pace of rate increases.
    * Bank of England Governor Mark Carney on Thursday
acknowledged the recent mixed domestic economic readings, which
reinforced the view the BOE would raise rates gradual over the
next few years.             
    * Meanwhile, Iran warned the United States on Thursday of
"unpleasant" consequences if Washington pulls out of a
multinational nuclear deal, Iranian state TV reported.
    * Work has resumed at two gold mines operated by Randgold
Resources         in Mali, after strikes that halted production
since Wednesday, a senior union official told Reuters.
    * Global diamond giant De Beers is rolling out an app to
help small-scale, artisanal diamond miners in Sierra Leone
certify that gems they pry from the soil are legal, the Anglo
American         unit said on Thursday.             
    * CME on Thursday lowered margins for trading palladium,
platinum futures.
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