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PRECIOUS-Gold firm, but below 2-year highs as Asia shares creep up

BENGALURU, July 7 (Reuters) - Gold rose slightly in Asian
trade on Thursday after touching its highest in more than
two-years in the previous session, with investors wary over
renewed market moves over Brexit even as regional shares crept
higher. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold, which touched its highest since March
2014 at $1,374.91 on Wednesday, was trading up 0.4 percent at
$1,368.80 an ounce by 0050 GMT. 
    * U.S. gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,370.80.
    * Silver was up 0.5 percent at $20.17.
    * Asian share markets crept cautiously higher early on
Thursday after upbeat U.S. economic data took the sting out of
losses in European equities and lifted Wall Street to a firmer
finish. 
    * Wall Street got a boost from Institute for Supply
Management data showing U.S. service sector activity hit a
seven-month high in June as new orders surged and companies
hired more workers.  
    * U.S. benchmark and long-dated Treasury yields finished
slightly higher on Wednesday on profit taking after hitting
record lows during the session on global growth concerns
stemming from Britain's recent vote to exit from the European
Union. 
    * Federal Reserve policymakers decided in June that interest
rate hikes should stay on hold until they have a handle on the
consequences of Britain's vote on EU membership, according to
the minutes from the Fed's June policy meeting released on
Wednesday. 
    * U.S. short-term interest rate futures contracts pared
losses slightly on Wednesday after the Fed released minutes of
its June meeting that suggested policymakers want to wait to see
the impact of Brexit before raising rates. 
    * Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo said there is no need to raise
U.S. interest rates until there is convincing evidence inflation
is moving towards the central bank's target on a sustained
basis. 
    * Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.03 percent to 982.44
tonnes on Wednesday. It posted the biggest one-day surge in its
holdings in more than six years on Tuesday. 
    * Jeffrey Gundlach, the chief executive of DoubleLine
Capital, said on Wednesday that gold remains the best investment
amid fears of instability in the European Union and prolonged
global stagnation, as well as concerns over the effectiveness of
central bank policies. 
    * ABN Amro on Wednesday raised its average 2016 gold price
forecast to $1,300 per ounce from $1,283 per ounce. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
  0600  Germany    Industrial output                May 
  0830  Britain    Industrial output                May 
  1215  U.S.       ADP national employment          Jun 
  1230  U.S.       Weekly jobless claims 

 (Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Ed
Davies)
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