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Gold Holds Firm On Growth, Trade Worries

Gold prices held steady on Friday as worries about slowing global growth and fears that a prolonged Sino-U.S. trade war could worsen weighed on investors' risk appetite.

Spot gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,311.08 per ounce after hitting its lowest level since January 29 at $1,302.11 on Thursday. U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,314.65 per ounce.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other U.S. officials will travel to Beijing next week to continue the negotiations after U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day tariff truce in December.

There is skepticism about the outcome as the two sides have so far made little progress.

CNBC reported that a Trump-Xi meeting is highly unlikely before a March 1 deadline, but the U.S. is likely to keep tariffs at 10 percent rather than raise them to 25 percent as scheduled.

The report came after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox Business the U.S. and China have a "pretty sizable distance to go" before reaching a trade deal.

The European Commission on Thursday sharply cut its forecasts for euro zone economic growth this year and next, saying the bloc's largest countries will be held back by global trade tensions and domestic challenges.

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