June 8, 2018 / 5:06 AM / in 9 months

PRECIOUS-Gold eases as dollar firms; investors await G7, U.S. Fed meetings

    * Spot gold up slightly for the week
    * Silver set to post biggest weekly climb in 7 weeks
    * Palladium on track for third straight weekly rise

 (Adds comment, details; updates prices)
    By Karen Rodrigues
    BENGALURU, June 8 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased on Friday as
the dollar inched up, while investors remained cautious ahead of
a G7 meeting later in the day and other key events next week
such as a United States Federal Reserve policy meeting and a
U.S.-North Korea summit.
    Spot gold        was 0.1 percent lower at $1,294.87 per
ounce by 0658 GMT. It hit a one-week high of $1,303.08 an ounce
in the previous session and has risen about 0.2 percent so far
this week.
    U.S. gold futures         for August delivery fell 0.3
percent to $1,298.70 per ounce.
    "Gold is most likely going to be range bound. The markets
are looking very closely on what could actually come out from
the G7 meeting," said OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan.
    "The market is also looking for a potential rate hike by the
FOMC ... (but) the dollar movement will dictate how gold will
move into the next one week or so."
    The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.2 percent to
    Leaders of the Group of Seven rich nations headed for a
summit in Canada on Thursday more divided than at any time in
the group's 42-year history, as U.S. President Donald Trump's
"America First" policies risk causing a global trade war and
deep diplomatic schisms.              
    Trump is set to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June
12 in Singapore, and the U.S. Federal Reserve's Federal Open
Market Committee (FOMC) starts its two-day meeting on interest
rates on the same day.
    The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to a further tightening in
labour market conditions and strengthening prospects of an
interest rate hike.              
    Gold is highly-sensitive to rising U.S. rates as these tend
to boost the dollar, putting pressure on greenback-denominated,
non-yielding bullion.
    Spot gold        may end very soon its current sideways move
in a neutral range of $1,293-$1,302 per ounce, and then either
rise towards $1,326 or drop towards $1,281.76, according to
Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.         
    In other precious metals, spot silver        fell 0.1
percent to $16.63 an ounce, after marking a more than six-week
high on Thursday. It was heading for a nearly 2 percent rise for
the week, its biggest in seven weeks.
    Palladium        was down 0.5 percent at $1,007.40 per
ounce. It hit a more than six-week high in the previous session
and was on course for a third consecutive weekly gain, up about
1 percent.
    Platinum        was 0.2 percent lower at $894.80 an ounce
and was on course for a marginal weekly decline.

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford and Subhranshu Sahu)
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