April 12, 2018 / 1:33 AM / in 15 days

PRECIOUS-Gold off 11-week highs after Fed signals more rate hikes

    BENGALURU, April 12 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased off
multi-week highs on Thursday as minutes from the Federal
Reserves's last policy meeting raised expectations for a faster
pace of U.S. rate hikes.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS 
    * Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,351.48 an
ounce as of 0111 GMT and U.S. gold futures         fell 0.4
percent to $1,355 an ounce. 
    * Gold on Wednesday rose to $1,365.23 per ounce, its highest
since Jan. 25, buoyed by escalating tensions in Syria, U.S.
sanctions on Russia and the U.S.-China trade spat.
    * U.S. President Donald Trump warned Russia on Wednesday of
imminent military action in Syria over a suspected poison gas
attack, declaring that missiles "will be coming" and lambasting
Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
            
    * Palladium has surged 6 percent this week on the back of
concerns that supply from number one producer Russia could be
hurt by sanctions imposed by the United States.             
    * All of the Federal Reserve's policymakers felt that the
U.S. economy would firm further and that inflation would rise in
the coming months, minutes of the central bank's last policy
meeting on March 20-21 released on Wednesday showed.
            
    * The U.S. Federal Reserve is worried about trade tensions
with China, but newly released details on policymakers' views
suggest those concerns have not translated into concerns about
the overall economy.             
    * U.S. consumer prices fell for the first time in 10 months
in March, weighed down by a decline in the cost of gasoline, but
underlying inflation continued to firm amid rising prices for
healthcare and rental accommodation.             
    * The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is optimistic on the
outlook for global growth but warned darker clouds are looming
due to fading fiscal stimulus and rising interest rates.
             
    * South African miner Gold Fields Ltd          will complete
preparatory work in 2019 at its Salares Norte project in
northern Chile and is eyeing potential output of around 345,000
ounces of gold a year at the site by the early 2020s, a company
executive said.             
    * Mongolia's anti-graft agency has arrested two former prime
ministers as part of an investigation into suspected misuse of
power by officials during two rounds of negotiations involving a
big copper-gold mine, it said on Wednesday.             

    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    0900  Euro zone      Industrial production        February
    1230  U.S.           Export prices                March
    1230  U.S.           Import prices                March
    1230  U.S.           Weekly jobless claims

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; editing by Richard
Pullin)
  
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