PRECIOUS-Gold inches up, set for monthly rise as markets await BoJ decision

BENGALURU, July 29 (Reuters) - Gold inched higher early
Friday due to a weaker dollar and was on track for a gain of
more than one percent for the month, as markets awaited a
decision by the Bank of Japan on whether to expand monetary
    * Spot gold crawled up 0.2 percent to $1,337.57 an
ounce at 0107 GMT. Bullion has risen 1.2 percent in July and is
heading for its first weekly gain in three following a gain of
more than one percent so far.
    * U.S. gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,335.1 an ounce.
    * Asian shares held near one-year highs while the yen hit a
two-week high on Friday in nervous trade as investors waited to
see if the Bank of Japan will come up with stimulus that would
meet markets' expectations. 
    * The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
rose more than expected last week, but the underlying trend
continued to point to sustained labor market strength.
    * The BoJ, under pressure from the government, is
considering specific steps for expanding monetary stimulus on
Friday to address signs of weakness in inflation, people
familiar with the central bank's thinking said. 
    * The yen last stood at 104.34, with all eyes on the BOJ's
policy decision, which is usually announced some time between
0230 GMT and 0500 GMT. 
    * Sub-zero European Central Bank interest rates are doing
more good than harm and holding safely above a detrimental
level, but the bloc remains at risk of falling into a damaging
trap of low rates, ECB Executive Board Member Benoit Coeure
    * Gold bullion prices have increased 26 percent this year,
but the world's biggest gold miners are paring costs and selling
assets to lower debt despite the windfall rather than boosting
    * Anglo American said on Thursday net debt had
fallen and that an aggressive cost-cutting and asset sale
strategy was on track, although volatile commodity markets could
make the second half of the year challenging. 
    * Goldcorp Inc has put its Los Filos gold and silver
mine in Mexico on the block and is also looking at selling two
other non-core mines, chief executive David Garofalo said on
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
    0530  France preliminary GDP           Q2 
    0600  Germany Retail sales             Jun 
    0645  France Consumer spending         Jun 
    0900  Euro zone preliminary GDP        Q2 
    0900  Euro zone Inflation              Jul 
    0900  Euro zone Unemployment rate      Jun 
    1230  U.S. Advance GDP                 Q2 
    1230  U.S. Employment wages            Q2 
    1345  U.S. Chicago PMI                 Jul 

 (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by
Richard Pullin)