PRECIOUS-Gold eases amid firm dollar, stronger equities

    Oct 16 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased a touch on Monday,
weighed down by a firm dollar and stronger Asian equities.
    * Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,303.42 an
ounce at 0053 GMT. It gained nearly 0.9 percent in the previous
session on weaker-than-expected U.S. inflation data.
    * U.S. gold futures         for December delivery were up
0.1 percent at $1,305.70 per ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was steady at 93.101.
    * Asian shares advanced to new highs on Monday following the
lead of Wall Street, while U.S. oil futures jumped to hover near
a six-month peak as escalating tensions between Iraq and Kurds
threatened supply.            
    * U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest increase in
eight months in September as gasoline prices soared in the wake
of hurricane-related production disruptions at oil refineries in
the Gulf Coast area, but underlying inflation remained muted.
    * The U.S economy remains strong and the strength of the
labour market calls for continued gradual increases in interest
rates despite subdued inflation, Federal Reserve Chair Janet
Yellen said on Sunday.             
    * Senior Trump administration officials said on Sunday that
the United States was committed to remaining part of the Iran
nuclear accord for now, despite President Donald Trump's
criticisms of the deal and his warnings that he might pull out.
    * Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has until 10:00 a.m.
local (0800 GMT) on Monday to clarify whether he is calling for
the region's independence from Spain, with Madrid threatening a
return to direct rule if his stance remains ambiguous.
    * Britain's economy shows little sign of improving on
lacklustre growth and it seems "extraordinary" that the Bank of
England is considering raising interest rates, the British
Chambers of Commerce said on Friday.             
    * Wages and inflation in the 19-country euro zone will
eventually rise but more slowly than earlier thought, requiring
continued patience from policymakers, European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi said on Saturday.             
    * Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda warned on Sunday
that investors may be complacent about geopolitical risks that
could trigger financial market turbulence and disrupt an
otherwise broadening global economic recovery.             
    * Hedge funds and money managers reduced their net long
position in COMEX gold contracts for the fourth straight week,
in the week to Oct. 10, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission data showed on Friday.        
    0130  China      Consumer prices             Sep
    0130  China      Producer prices             Sep
    0900  Euro zone  Eurostat trade              Aug
    1230  U.S.       New York Fed manufacturing  Oct

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph