December 19, 2017 / 1:29 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds steady; investors eye U.S. tax bill movements

    Dec 19 (Reuters) - Gold traded little changed in early Asian
trade on Tuesday amid a steady dollar with investors monitoring
the progress of the U.S. tax reform bill.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was steady at $1,261.24 an ounce at 0059
GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures         were down 0.1 percent at
$1,264.4 an ounce. 
    * The dollar remained mired in its recent ranges, as
optimism that the U.S. tax reform bill would pass duelled with
concerns about what its ultimate effect on growth would be.
      
    * The Republican-controlled U.S. Congress appeared all but
certain to pass sweeping tax legislation this week after two
Senate Republican holdouts agreed on Monday to support a tax
overhaul backed by President Donald Trump.             
    * Asian stocks advanced on Tuesday after a record-setting
session on Wall Street on bets that U.S. lawmakers would pass a
major tax overhaul, while the dollar sagged as traders were less
sanguine about the bill's economic impact.              
    * Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari
said on Monday he voted against the Fed's decision to raise
interest rates last week over worries on weak inflation and a
flattening of the yield curve.             
    * The United States was further isolated on Monday over
Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital when
it blocked a United Nations Security Council call for the
declaration to be withdrawn.             
    * British Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament her
plan on Monday for a Brexit transition period with broadly the
same access to European Union markets but was met with
scepticism from pro-Brexit lawmakers fearful of a watered-down
EU exit.             
    * The Bank of Japan is expected to maintain its massive
stimulus programme at a monetary meeting ending on Thursday
despite growing signs of improvement in the economy, keeping its
money tap wide open to ensure that recovery translates into
higher inflation.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.84 percent to
837.20 tonnes on Monday from 844.29 tonnes on Friday.
    
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

    0900  Germany        Ifo business climate       Dec
    1000  Euro zone      Labour costs               Q3
    1330  U.S.           Current account            Q3
    1330  U.S.           Housing starts             Nov
    1330  U.S.           Building permits           Nov

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
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