July 19, 2018 / 1:34 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold inches higher as U.S. dollar eases

    BENGALURU, July 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose slightly
early Thursday, after hitting a one-year low in the previous
session, as the U.S. dollar eased off a three-week high. 
           
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1 percent at $1,227.55 an ounce
at 0058 GMT. The metal fell to its lowest since mid-July 2017 at
$1,220.81.
    * U.S. gold futures         for August delivery were little
changed at $1,227.40 an ounce.    
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.1 percent
at 95.022 after hitting a three-week high of 95.407 on
Wednesday.       
    * In a closely watched two-day congressional testimony, 
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he believed the
United States was on course for years more of steady growth, and
carefully played down the risks to the U.S. economy of an
escalating trade conflict.             
    * Manufacturers in every one of the Federal Reserve's 12
districts worried about the impact of tariffs, a Federal Reserve
report said on Wednesday, even as the U.S. economy continued to
expand at a moderate to modest pace.             
    * A prolonged U.S. trade war with China and Europe would
dent global economic growth and force investors to reassess the
profitability of U.S. companies, some of the biggest hedge funds
and private equity investors in the United States warned at an
investment conference on Wednesday.             
    * U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United
States may hammer out a trade deal with Mexico, and then do a
separate one with Canada later, sowing fresh doubts about the
future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
            
    * The White House struggled on Wednesday to contain a
political outcry and confusion over Trump's summit with Russian
President Vladimir Putin, denying Trump ever meant to say that
Moscow was no longer targeting the United States.             
    * Reaching a denuclearization deal with North Korea "may
take some time," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on
Wednesday, reiterating that sanctions would continue to be
enforced in the meantime, even as Russia's envoy to Pyongyang
proposed discussions on easing them.             
    * Canadian miner Detour Gold          and activist investor
Paulson & Co entered into an increasingly heated public exchange
on Wednesday over the hedge fund's campaign to seek change at
the company and a possible merger approach.             
    * Venezuela's central bank this year began refining gold in
Turkey following a wave of international sanctions that have
left it unwilling to carry out such operations in Switzerland,
the country's mining minister said on Wednesday.             

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