BENGALURU, June 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched higher
early Monday after falling to a 5-1/2-month low in the previous
session, as a trade dispute between the two largest world
economies triggered safe-haven buying.
    * Spot gold        had edged up 0.2 percent to $1,281.41 per
ounce by 0045 GMT. It touched its weakest since late-December at
$1,275.01 an ounce on Friday. 
    * U.S. gold futures         for August delivery were up 0.4
percent at $1,284.10 per ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.1 percent to
    * U.S. President Donald Trump said he was pushing ahead with
hefty tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports on Friday, and
the smouldering trade war between the world's two largest
economies showed signs of igniting as Beijing immediately vowed
to respond in kind.                         
    * China will impose additional 25 percent tariffs on 659
U.S. goods worth $50 billion in response to the U.S.
announcement that it will levy tariffs on Chinese imports, the
Chinese commerce ministry said.             
    * South Korea and the United States are expected to announce
the suspension of "large-scale" military drills this week, with
the provision that they would restart if North Korea failed to
keep its promise to denuclearise, news agency Yonhap said on
    * Syrian state media, citing a military source, reported on
Monday that U.S.-led coalition aircraft had bombed "one of our
military positions" in eastern Syria, leading to deaths and
injuries, but the U.S. military denied carrying out strikes in
the area.             
    * Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan on
Friday said he would be open to raising the Fed's target policy
rate a fourth time late this year, but his base case is for just
    * Speculators raised their net long positions in COMEX gold
and silver contracts in the week to June 12, U.S. Commodity
Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.        
    * Australia's South32 Ltd          has bid $1.3 billion to
take full control of Arizona Mining        , offering a hefty
premium for the Toronto-listed firm which is developing zinc,
lead, manganese and silver assets.
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