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.
    * 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
    * 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.

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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