PRECIOUS-Gold steady, buoyed by geopolitical worries

    BENGALURU, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Gold was mostly steady early
on Friday amid weaker Asian stocks, with some investors
gravitating towards safe-haven assets on political uncertainty
in the United States and after a van mowed through crowds in
Barcelona, killing at least 13 people.
    * Spot gold        was nearly unchanged at $1,286.60 per
ounce by 0113 GMT, after climbing for two straight days.
    * U.S. gold futures         for December delivery were flat
at $1,292.60 per ounce.
    * Asian stock investors joined a global retreat from riskier
assets on Friday and the dollar wavered on growing doubts about
U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to fulfil his economic
    * A manhunt was underway for the driver of a van that mowed
through crowds of tourists on Barcelona's most famous avenue on
Thursday, killing at least 13 people in an attack that was
claimed by Islamic State.             
    * Financial markets are warning of weakness in the U.S.
economy, so the Federal Reserve should be "very patient and
judicious" as it considers whether to raise interest rates,
Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said on Thursday.
    * Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said on Thursday
that the Fed would take into consideration the state of
government efforts to raise the federal debt limit in deciding
when to start winding down the central bank's large bond
    * The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
fell to near a six-month low last week, pointing to a further
tightening in the labour market that could encourage the Federal
Reserve to lay out a plan to start unwinding its massive bond
    * European Central Bank policymakers worried about a
possible overshoot in the euro when they met on July 20, warning
that easy financing conditions "could not be taken for granted"
and depended on the ECB's easy policy, minutes of the meeting
showed on Thursday.             
    * Euro zone government bond yields fell across the board on
Thursday after published remarks from policymakers in both
Europe and the United States suggested they were cautious about
withdrawing monetary stimulus too quickly.             
    * The United States and South Korea will go ahead with joint
military drills next week, the top U.S. military official said
on Thursday, resisting pressure from North Korea and its ally
China to halt the contentious exercises.             
     0130  China      House prices                       Jul 
     0600  Germany    Producer prices                    Jul 
     0800  Euro zone  Current account                    Jun 
     1400  U.S.       Univ of Michigan sentiment index   Aug

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph