Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Bengaluru — Gold prices eased on Monday as stock markets rallied after upbeat Chinese economic data soothed some concern about the global economy and boosted risk appetite, although losses were limited by a sliding dollar.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,290.16 per ounce by 11.48am GMT, after touching its lowest since March 8 on Friday at $1,286.35.

US gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,295.40 an ounce. “We have a positive environment in the equity markets so risk is on and that's a negative for gold,” Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said.

Global stocks surged on strong Chinese factory activity data and signs of progress in US-China trade negotiations.

The dollar index was lower, however, limiting gold's losses as it makes holding the metal cheaper for buyers holding other currencies.

“We have to look through the noise and at the bigger picture. We still think the global economy is slowing in the 12-18 month horizon, especially in the US, which should help gold in the longer term,” Menke said.

Gold has gained more than 11% since touching its lowest in about one-and-a-half years last August, on a dovish US Federal Reserve and global growth concerns.

Investors are awaiting US retail sales and manufacturing PMI data due later in the day.

Global demand for gold in 2019 will rise to the highest in four years, as higher consumption by jewellers offsets a fall in purchases by central banks, an industry report said on Monday.

Elsewhere, Britain's exit from the EU was in disarray after the implosion of Prime Minister Theresa May's strategy left her under pressure from rival factions to leave without a deal, go for an election, or forge a much softer divorce.

Speculators increased their net long position in Comex gold for the second straight week in the week to March 26, data showed on Friday.

“Speculative financial investors were caught on the wrong foot recently,” Commerzbank analysts said in a note, adding gold prices had, however, fallen consistently in the meantime.

Among other precious metals, spot palladium was down 0.1% to $1,381.55 an ounce, having declined more than 11% last week.

Silver fell 0.3% to $15.08 an ounce, while platinum was up 0.3% to $847.75 an ounce.