March 9, 2018 / 2:42 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold dips as dollar firms amid hopes for easing U.S.-N.Korea tensions

    March 9 (Reuters) - Gold prices extended losses into a third
session on Friday as the dollar strengthened against the yen on
hopes of easing tensions between the United States and North
Korea and ahead of U.S. non-farm payroll data later in the day.
   
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        was down 0.3 percent at $1,317.21 per
ounce at 0154 GMT. 
    * U.S. gold futures         were down 0.3 percent at
$1,318.1.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of major currencies, was up 0.1 percent at
90.298.       
    * President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was prepared to
meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the first U.S.-North
Korea summit, marking a potentially dramatic breakthrough in
nuclear tensions with Pyongyang.             
    * Trump also pressed ahead with the imposition of 25 percent
tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent for aluminum on Thursday
but exempted Canada and Mexico, backtracking from earlier
pledges of tariffs on all countries.             
    * Ministers from the United States, Canada and Mexico meet
on Monday to wrap up the latest round of NAFTA talks.
            
    * Eleven countries including Japan and Canada signed a
landmark Asia-Pacific trade agreement without the United
States on Thursday in what one minister called a powerful signal
against protectionism and trade wars.             
    * Asian stocks looked set for guarded gains on Friday.
           
    * The European Central Bank dropped a long-standing pledge
on Thursday to increase its bond buying if needed, taking
another small step in weaning the euro zone economy off its
protracted stimulus.             
    * The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
rebounded last week from a more than 48-year low, but the trend
continued to point to robust labour market conditions.
            
    * Later on Friday, market participants will turn their
attention to the Bank of Japan's monetary policy decision as
well as U.S. jobs data.
    
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
    0130  China           Consumer prices               Feb
    0130  China           Producer prices               Feb
    0630  Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks to 
          reporters at the end of the central bank policy
          meetings
    0700  Germany         Industrial output             Jan
    0700  Germany         Trade data                    Jan
    0745  France          Industrial output             Jan
    1330  U.S.            Nonfarm payrolls              Feb
    1330  U.S.            Unemployment rate             Feb
    1330  Euro zone       Employment                    Q1
    1500  U.S.            Wholesale sales               Jan

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru
Editing by Joseph Radford)
  
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