PRECIOUS-Gold inches lower on trade optimism; all eyes on U.S. GDP data

Dec 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched lower on Friday due to increased risk appetite on hopes of an interim Sino-U.S. deal being signed soon and as investors awaited the release of U.S. gross domestic product data.


* Spot gold edged 0.1% lower to $1,478.00 per ounce


* U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday the United States and China would sign their so-called Phase one trade pact at the beginning of January, adding that it would not be subject to any renegotiation.

* China's Finance Ministry unveiled a new list of import tariff exemptions for a duration of one year starting Dec. 26 for six chemical and oil products from the United States.

* Asian shares firmed, close to the 18-month peak, as trade thinned in the run-up to Christmas and the market absorbed the positive trade update.

* The dollar index , all set to gain for the first week in four, held steady against a basket of currencies, making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.

* In United States, economic data showed mixed signals as the initial jobless claims report was strong with applications for unemployment benefits slipping from a more than two-year high, while factory activity data for the Mid-Atlantic region was almost flat in December.

* Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled what he called a radical government agenda on Thursday, setting his sights on a quick Brexit, future trade deals and on transforming Britain to repay the trust of voters who handed him a landslide election victory.

* Elsewhere, palladium rose 0.4% to $1,943.74 per ounce. The metal prices had hit an all-time peak of $1,998.43 on Tuesday.

* Silver slid 0.1% to $17.03 per ounce, while


(Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)