PRECIOUS-Gold hits 2-mth high as dollar drops on Trump uncertainty

Jan 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices hit their highest in two
months on Tuesday, pushed up as the dollar weakened due to
suspicions President Donald Trump's administration might seek a
competitive advantage through a weaker currency.
    * Spot gold prices were firm at $1,217.81 per ounce
by 0056 GMT. They earlier touched their strongest since Nov. 22
at $1,219.59.
    * U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,217.40
per ounce.
    * The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, fell 0.1 percent to 100.030
    * Trump formally withdrew the United States from the
Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and told U.S. manufacturing
executives he would impose a hefty border tax on firms that
import products after moving American factories overseas.
    * The Bank of England will leave its record-low interest
rates and other stimulus measures unchanged at least until 2019,
even though it is likely to revise up its 2017 growth
predictions again next week, a Reuters poll found on Monday.
    * Jeffrey Lacker, the hawkish president of the Federal
Reserve Bank of Richmond, said on Monday he is worried inflation
could surge unless the U.S. central bank raises interest rates
faster than his fellow policymakers anticipate. 
    * China had a significantly larger fiscal deficit in 2016
than it targeted, according to a Reuters calculation based on
preliminary data released on Monday by the Finance Ministry.
    * Japan's government has kept unchanged the overall
assessment of the economy made last month - that it is
recovering gradually though pockets of weakness remain.
    * "Despite heightened uncertainty, we think Q1 2017 is still
stacked unfavorably for gold given the fragile market in India
ahead of the union budget (on Feb. 1) and the rising probability
of U.S. rate hikes," Standard Chartered said in a note.
    * Centamin Plc, which runs Egypt's only commercial
gold mine, said it would not bid in the country's new gold
exploration tender because the terms are not commercially
    * Russia is expected to sell discounted rights to one of the
world's largest untapped gold deposits this week to a joint
venture of miner Polyus and a state conglomerate,
industry sources and analysts said, after sanctions and
restrictions discouraged other bidders. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)    
    0800  France      Markit manufacturing flash PMI        Jan 
    0830  Germany     Markit manufacturing flash PMI        Jan 
    0900  Euro zone   Markit manufacturing flash PMI        Jan 
    1445  U.S.        Markit manufacturing flash PMI        Jan 
    1500  U.S.        Existing home sales                   Dec 

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph