August 19, 2016 / 1:25 AM / 3 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold slips on U.S. Fed rate views

Aug 19 (Reuters) - Gold fell for the first time in five
sessions early on Friday as hawkish comments from U.S. Federal
Reserve officials renewed bets on a U.S. rate hike this year.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,348.26 an
ounce at 0103 GMT. 
    * U.S. gold dropped 0.3 percent to $1,353.50 an
ounce.
    * San Francisco Fed President John Williams on Thursday
joined a growing chorus of his colleagues signalling support for
a U.S. interest rate hike in coming months, saying that waiting
too long could be costly for the economy. 
    * Strong employment and a long-awaited return of middle-wage
jobs suggest the labour market is tightening and the broader
U.S. economy is on track, New York Fed President William Dudley
said on Thursday, appearing to reinforce his more confident
message on a possible interest-rate hike. 
    * Reports showed the number of Americans filing for
unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, while
manufacturing activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region saw a
mild improvement this month. 
    * The index of the dollar against a basket of six major
currencies was up about 0.2 percent at 94.296. 
    * European Central Bank rate setters agreed not to discuss
any policy change at their July meeting and to keep market hopes
for more stimulus in check, despite rising risks linked to
Britain's vote to leave the European Union, minutes showed on
Thursday. 
    * Japanese manufacturers' mood soured in August to its
lowest since 2013 when the central bank embarked on aggressive
monetary easing, a Reuters poll showed, reflecting the pain
caused by a rising yen and highlighting the huge task facing
policymakers to generate growth. 
    * Home price rises in China's biggest cities showed signs of
easing in July, adding to concerns that one of the economy's key
growth drivers is losing steam but offering some relief for
policymakers worried about property bubbles. 
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.19 percent to 955.99
tonnes on Thursday. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click  
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    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    0600 Germany producer prices July

 (Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford)
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