January 9, 2020 / 1:15 AM / 18 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold little changed as fears of larger U.S.-Iran conflict ease

    Jan 9 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady on Thursday,
retreating from the near seven-year peak hit in the previous
session, as a softening rhetoric by the United States and Iran
allayed concerns of a larger military conflict.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was unchanged at $1,555.51 per ounce by
0031 GMT. Prices hit their highest since March 2013 at $1,610.90
on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures        fell 0.3% to $1,555.90. 
    * President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States
did not necessarily have to respond militarily to Iran's attack
on military bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq.             
    * Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the
strikes "concluded" Tehran's response to the killing of top
military commander Qassem Soleimani.             
    * U.S. private payrolls increased by the most in eight
months in December, pointing to sustained labour market
strength.             
    * The World Bank on Wednesday trimmed its global growth
forecasts slightly for 2019 and 2020 due to a
slower-than-expected recovery in trade and investment despite
cooler trade tensions between the United States and China.
            
    * The Perth Mint's gold product sales in December rose to
their highest in more than three years, the refiner said on
Wednesday, citing higher demand from Germany.             
    * Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund SPDR Gold Trust       fell 1.05% to 886.81
tonnes on Wednesday.          
    * Elsewhere, palladium        edged up 0.2% to $2,108.31 an
ounce, trading near the all-time peak of $2,108.81 hit in the
previous session on supply concerns.
    * Silver        gained 0.2% to $18.12 per ounce, after
hitting its highest since September at $18.85 on Wednesday,
while platinum        inched up 0.1% to $954.26.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0130   China      PPI, CPI YY             Dec
0700   Germany    Industrial Output MM    Nov
1000   EU         Unemployment Rate       Nov
1330   US         Initial Jobless Claims  Weekly

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)
  
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