December 21, 2017 / 1:26 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold hovers near 2-wk high amid steady dollar, weaker stocks

    Dec 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Thursday, trading
within sight of a two-week high touched in the previous session,
as the dollar held steady and Asian stocks slipped.
       
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1 percent at $1,266.56 an ounce
at 0104 GMT, after hitting its best since Dec. 6 at $1,267.81 in
the previous session.
    * U.S. gold futures         were steady at $1,270 an ounce. 
    * The dollar edged down 0.1 percent at 113.25 yen       .
The dollar was steady against a basket of six major currencies
      .
    * Asian markets offered a muted reaction on Thursday to the
passage of U.S. tax cuts as benefits to company bottom lines
were already baked into stock prices, while bonds were spooked
by the blowout in government debt needed to fund the giveaways.
           
    * The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives
gave final approval on Wednesday to the biggest overhaul of the
U.S. tax code in 30 years, sending a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax
bill to President Donald Trump for his signature.             
    * Trump on Wednesday threatened to cut off financial aid to
countries that vote in favor of a draft United Nations
resolution calling for the United States to withdraw its
decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
            
    * U.S. home sales increased more than expected in November,
hitting their highest level in nearly 11 years, the latest
indication that housing was regaining momentum after almost
stalling this year.             
    * The European Union introduced new rules on Wednesday to
guard against excessively cheap imports and singled out China
for special attention in a report spelling out how its economy
is distorted by the state.             
    * Bank of England Governor Mark Carney sees "fundamental
problems" with the idea of a digital currency issued by a
central bank that could be used by the general public.
            
    * The Bank of Japan is expected to keep monetary policy
steady on Thursday and reassure markets it will only end
crisis-mode stimulus when inflation is heading more decisively
towards its 2 percent target.             
    
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)
    
    0745  France     Business climate                 Dec
    1330  U.S.       GDP Final                        Q3
    1330  U.S.       Weekly jobless claims
    1330  U.S.       National activity index          Nov
    1330  U.S.       Philly Fed business index        Dec
    1400  U.S.       Monthly home price index         Oct
    1500  U.S.       Leading index                    Nov
    1500  U.S.       Consumer confidence flash        Dec

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha
Gayathri)
  
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