Wires

PRECIOUS-Gold eases on renewed U.S.-China trade optimism

Sumita Layek

* Minutes from U.S. Fed's September meeting due at 1800 GMT

* U.S.-China trade talks set for Oct. 10-11 in Washington (Updates prices, adds comments and details)

Oct 9 (Reuters) - Gold edged lower on Wednesday ahead of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's September meeting, with risk sentiment boosted by a report China was still open to agreeing a partial trade deal with the United States.

Spot gold eased 0.2% to $1,501.91 per ounce by 1150 GMT, holding above the key $1,500 level after rising as much as 1% in the previous session. U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% to $1,507.20 per ounce.

A Bloomberg report on Wednesday said China was still open to agreeing a partial trade deal with the United States, citing an official with direct knowledge of the talks.

European stocks moved sharply higher on the news.

"All of a sudden there is renewed optimism regarding a partial (trade) agreement because of a report that said China seems to still be willing despite all these stumbling blocks laid out by the U.S. this week," Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said.

Ahead of high-level trade talks on Thursday, the U.S. on Tuesday imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials for the detention or abuse of Muslim minorities. U.S. President Donald Trump has said tariffs on Chinese imports will rise on Oct. 15 if no progress is made in the negotiations.

Market participants are uncertain if a breakthrough can be achieved between Washington and Beijing in the long drawn out trade dispute that has rattled financial markets.

"The initiatives to block U.S. investors from investing into Chinese companies or limiting Chinese companies in the U.S. markets, all that is signaling that there is no clear line whether the U.S. wants a trade agreement with China," said Quantitative Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig.

Investors are now waiting for the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee's minutes from its September meeting at 1800 GMT for clues on further monetary policy easing.

Also on the radar were developments concerning Britain's exit from the European Union, with EU officials denying that Brussels was preparing a major concession to Britain to secure an Brexit deal.

Commerzbank analysts said that investor interest in gold remained high, as seen from continuous inflows into ETFs.

"Although the $1,500 mark has exerted a considerable pull on gold in recent weeks, and although gold has found it difficult to detach itself from this threshold, we believe that the price is well-supported."

Elsewhere, silver rose 0.4% to $17.78 an ounce, while platinum fell 0.5% to $885.01. Palladium eased 0.1% to $1,674.80 an ounce. (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Kirsten Donovan)