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PRECIOUS-Gold slips on strong dollar, Fed rate hike comments

Nov 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased on Friday after
touching their lowest in over five months the session before,
dragged down by a stronger U.S. dollar and after Federal Reserve
Chair Janet Yellen bolstered the case for raising interest rates
next month.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold had slipped 0.2 percent to $1,213.75 an
ounce by 0036 GMT. In the previous session, it marked its lowest
since June 3 at $1,210.73, remaining on track for its second
straight weekly decline.
    * U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at
$1,213.40 per ounce.
    * The dollar rose to a 13-1/2-year high against a basket of
currencies on Thursday as the bond market resumed its
sell-off on growing certainty of a U.S. interest rate increase
in December. 
    * The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president has done
nothing to change the Fed's plans for a rate increase
"relatively soon", the Fed's Yellen said on Thursday in
Congressional testimony. 
    * U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest increase in
six months in October on rising gasoline costs and rents.
 
    * The U.S. economy is on track to grow at a 3.6 percent
annualized pace in the fourth quarter after data showed domestic
housing starts hit a nine-year high in October, the Atlanta
Fed's GDP Now forecast model showed on Thursday. 
    * European Central Bank interest rates may be close to
bottoming out but it is still premature to talk about reducing
economic stimulus given the risk of acting too early, said ECB
Executive Board member Yves Mersch. 
    * The Bank of Japan on Thursday fired a warning shot to
markets by offering to buy unlimited bonds for the first time
under a revamped policy framework, as domestic debt yields
surged in the wake of Trump's upset U.S. election victory.
 
    * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.61 percent to
920.63 tonnes on Thursday from 926.26 tonnes on Wednesday.
 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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     DATA AHEAD (GMT)   
     0130  China            House prices                 Oct 
     0700  Germany          Producer prices              Oct 
     0900  Euro zone        Current account              Sep 
     1500  U.S.             Leading index                Oct  

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford)
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