Wires

PRECIOUS-Gold flat as trade-deal uncertainty cuts safe-haven demand

Sumita Layek

(Updates prices)

* Phase-1 trade deal may be delayed until Dec - U.S. official

* Gold to trade between $1,482-$1,518 an ounce - trader

* Markets await weekly U.S. jobless claims report later in the day

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on Thursday as investors maintained a cautious stance amid signs of a delay in Washington and Beijing sealing a long-awaited interim trade deal.

Spot gold was trading at $1,490.94 per ounce, as of 0537 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,492.6 per ounce.

A senior official of the Trump administration told Reuters on Wednesday a meeting between U.S. and Chinese leaders to sign an interim trade deal could be delayed until December as discussions continue over terms and venue.

"It (delay in U.S.-China trade deal) has added a bit of caution. Trade talks are going to go ahead and at the same time, the complicated issues in the deal have not yet been discussed, so the investors are in wait-and-see-mode," said John Sharma, an economist with National Australia Bank.

"At the moment, there is not much to change it (gold's direction), we will have to wait for some external factors, either geopolitical or economic to push it out of the range."

A tit-for-tat tariff war between the world's two biggest economies for the past 16 months have roiled financial markets and raised fears of a global economic slowdown, helping the safe-haven bullion to rise more than 16% this year.

Asian shares managed to cling near multi-month peaks while bonds eked out a bounce as reports of delays in sealing a preliminary Sino-U.S. trade deal left investors frustrated at the lack of concrete progress.

"Sentiments are that some kind of deal will get done, also the Federal Reserve have said that they are not looking to do anything more this year (with interest rates), that is why gold is not reacting much," Brian Lan of Singapore dealer GoldSilver Central said.

Last month, the Fed cut interest rates for the third time this year to help sustain U.S. growth despite a slowdown in other parts of the world, but signalled there would be no further reductions unless the economy takes a turn for the worse.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost for holding the non-yielding gold.

Gold will trade in a range of $1,482-$1,518 an ounce in the short term, Lan said.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday slashed euro zone growth forecasts.

Elsewhere, silver dipped 0.1% to $17.61 per ounce. Platinum was unchanged at $929 per ounce, while palladium rose 0.2% to $1,796.59 per ounce. (Reporting by Sumita Layek and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)