January 19, 2018 / 1:35 AM / 4 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold inches up, but heads for first weekly loss in six

    Jan 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Friday, supported
by a weaker dollar and worries about a possible U.S. government
shutdown, but the precious metal was still on track for its
first weekly drop in six weeks.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1 percent at $1,328.98 an ounce
by 0111 GMT. Gold on Thursday touched its weakest level since
Jan. 12 at $1,323.70 on Thursday, having fallen from recent
four-month highs.
    * Spot gold has fallen 0.8 percent so far this week, its
worst since the week-ending Dec. 8.
    * U.S. gold futures         were up 0.1 percent at
$1,327.90.
    * The U.S. dollar fell on Thursday amid worries over a
possible U.S. government shutdown. The dollar index was mostly
unchanged at 90.495        on Friday.
    * Legislation to avoid a U.S. government shutdown at
midnight on Friday advanced in Congress, as the House of
Representatives on Thursday night approved an extension of
federal funds through Feb. 16, although the bill faced uncertain
prospects in the Senate.             
    * The dollar has fallen since 2017 largely on expectations
central banks besides the Federal Reserve are seeking to end
their policy of ultra low, even negative, rates that they
adopted to combat the 2008 global financial crisis and the
recession that followed.       
    * Meanwhile, bitcoin            and other cryptocurrencies
staged a modest rebound following two days of heavy losses tied
to fears about regulatory clamp-down around the world. 
    * Asia stocks edged higher on Friday and were within reach
of record highs.            
    * The U.S. Federal Reserve should raise interest rates three
to four times in both 2018 and 2019, Cleveland Federal Reserve
Bank President Loretta Mester said on Thursday, a pace that is a
bit faster than many of her fellow policymakers prefer.
            
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 1.42 percent to 840.76
tonnes on Thursday from Wednesday.          
    * Environmental regulators ordered Barrick Gold Corp
         to close the Chilean side of its stalled Pascua-Lama
mining project on Thursday, but reduced a 2013 fine for
violations by more than 25 percent to $11.5 million.
            
    * Platinum miner Lonmin        ,          has received a
further waiver on its debt agreements from its lenders,
preventing a default, the South Africa-focused company said on
Thursday.             
    * The Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia's southern
Gobi Desert declared force majeure after protests by Chinese
coal haulers disrupted deliveries near the border, majority
owner Turquoise Hill          said Wednesday.             
   
    DATA AHEAD (IN GMT)
    
    0700  Germany      Producer prices        Dec
    0900  Euro zone    Current account        Nov
    1500  U.S.        Univ of Michigan sentiment index     Jan

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; editing by
Richard Pullin)
  
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