July 12, 2018 / 1:44 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds steady near 1-wk low as dollar firms against yen

    BENGALURU, July 12 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on
Thursday, close to a one-week low hit in the previous session,
as the U.S. dollar strengthened against the yen, amid an
intensifying trade war between the world's two biggest
economies.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        held steady at $1,241.20 an ounce at 0100
GMT. The yellow metal slipped 1 percent and hit an over one-week
low at $1,240.89 on Wednesday.
    * U.S. gold futures         for August delivery were 0.2
percent lower at $1,241.60 an ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 94.733.
The dollar rose to 112.12 yen       , close to a six-month peak
touched on Wednesday. 
    * China accused the United States of bullying and warned it
would hit back after the Trump administration raised the stakes
in their trade dispute, threatening 10 percent tariffs on $200
billion of Chinese goods in a move that rattled global markets.
            
    * The U.S. Senate made a minor effort to push back against
President Donald Trump's trade policies on Wednesday by backing
a non-binding motion to give Congress a role in his decisions to
impose tariffs for national security reasons.             
    * A struggle by employers to fill jobs shows the U.S.
economy is strong, and the rise in housing and stock prices is
not a sign of a risky build-up in leverage in the financial
system, the head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank said on
Wednesday.                          
    * European Central Bank policymakers are split over when the
ECB might raise interest rates next year, with some saying an
increase is possible as early as July 2019 and others ruling out
a move until autumn, according to several sources.             
    * The fact that investors are siphoning money out of stocks
is not helping gold, with the safe-haven asset suffering as
people wary of a global trade war flock to the U.S. dollar. U.S.
fund investors pulled $1 billion from commodity funds, including
those invested in the precious metal, the largest withdrawals
since July 2017, Investment Company Institute (ICI) data showed
on Wednesday.             
    * Russia produced 92.56 tonnes of gold in the first five
months of 2018, up from 90.39 tonnes in the same period in 2017,
the finance ministry said on Wednesday.             
    * A surplus of platinum and demand concerns due to a dispute
over global trade have fuelled a sell-off that saw prices of the
autocatalyst metal hit their lowest in a decade, below the cost
of production for many mines in top producer South Africa.
            
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
    0900  Euro zone     Industrial production         May
    1130  European Central Bank publishes accounts of June 13-14
          policy meeting
    1230  U.S.          Consumer prices               June
    1230  U.S.          Weekly jobless claims

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha
Gayathri)
  
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