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Gold prices inch up amid international economic, political worries

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Gold prices nudged up on Wednesday after hitting their highest in over three months in the previous session, with international political and economic uncertainty underpinning safe-haven demand for the metal.

Gold bars are seen in the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger


* Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,231.27 an ounce at 0102 GMT. On Tuesday, it touched its highest since July 17 at $1,239.68.

* U.S. gold futures were down 0.2 percent at $1,234.20 an ounce.

* Palladium jumped to a record-high on Tuesday, bringing the metal to within striking distance of achieving parity with gold after it outshone other precious metals including its closest rival, platinum, this year.

* Asian stocks edged up on Wednesday as a late round of buying helped Wall Street indexes pare most of their earlier panic-driven losses. [MKTS/GLOB]

* President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Saudi authorities staged the “worst cover-up ever” in the killing of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi this month, as the United States vowed to revoke the visas of some of those believed to be responsible.

* Washington will press ahead with a plan to quit a landmark nuclear arms control pact despite objections from Russia and some European countries, senior U.S. official John Bolton said on Tuesday, after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

* A three-week stock market sell-off may signal concerns that the massive stimulus from U.S. tax cuts and government spending will fade sooner than expected, a central issue for the Federal Reserve as it considers when to halt interest rate hikes.

* Falling stock prices, uncertainty around global trade and other possible “headwinds” are not enough yet to throw the U.S. economy off course or force the Fed to alter its intent for continued gradual rate increases, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said on Tuesday.

* The European Commission rejected Italy’s draft 2019 budget on Tuesday, saying it brazenly broke EU rules on public spending, and asked Rome to submit a new one within three weeks or face disciplinary action.

* British Prime Minister Theresa May will address her Conservative Party lawmakers at a private meeting in parliament on Wednesday, her spokesman said, as she seeks to calm growing tensions over her Brexit strategy.

* Newcrest Mining Ltd, Australia’s largest independent gold miner, said on Wednesday that gold production rose 5 percent in the first quarter from the year-ago period, led by a sharp increase at its flagship Cadia mine.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)0800 Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI Oct

1300 U.S. Monthly home price index Aug

1345 U.S. Markit manufacturing PMI Oct

1400 U.S. New home sales Sep

1800 Federal Reserve issues Beige Book of economic condition

Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford