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PRECIOUS-Gold steady on uncertainty ahead of central bank meetings

Sept 19 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed early on Monday,
after touching a two-week low on Friday, as investors remained
cautious ahead of central bank meetings in Japan and the United
States this week
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was steady at $1,310.06 an ounce by 0055
GMT. The yellow metal dropped 0.3 percent to $1,306.26 on
Friday, its lowest since Sept. 1.
    * U.S. gold futures rose 0.3 percent to $1,313.50 an
ounce.
    * The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.1 percent
at 95.998.
    * U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in August as
healthcare costs recorded their biggest gain in 32-1/2 years,
pointing to a steady build-up of inflation that could allow the
Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year. 
    * U.S. Treasury yields rose on Friday after data showed that
U.S. consumer prices increased more than expected in August,
raising the odds that the Federal Reserve will raise rates later
this year. 
    * Investors are counting down to the Federal Reserve's Open
Market Committee meeting Sept. 20-21, with chair Janet Yellen
holding a news conference on Wednesday. 
    * The Bank of Japan also meets on Wednesday and is expected
to ease monetary policy, though conflicting reports on what it
might do have created much uncertainty.
    * Peru will likely produce 4.5 million ounces of gold in
2017, the central bank said Friday, higher than its previous
estimate for 4.1 million ounces, but below the 4.7 million
ounces produced in 2015. 
    * Hedge funds and money managers lowered their net long
positions in COMEX gold by 30,136 contracts to 248,858 contracts
in the week to Sept. 13, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission data showed on Friday. 
    * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 1.11 percent to
942.61 tonnes on Friday. 
    * Demand for gold in India remained lacklustre this week as
higher prices hampered consumer purchases, but discounts
narrowed due to a correction in overseas rates. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    MARKET REPORT
    Caution gripped Asian shares on Monday ahead of central bank
meetings in the United States and Japan this week, while oil
prices bounced on talk of an OPEC deal on output and reports of
fighting around Libyan oil ports. 


    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)
    0130 China House prices August 
    0800 Euro zone Current account July 
    1400 U.S. NAHB housing market index September

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael
Perry)
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