August 10, 2018 / 1:19 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices buoyed by global political tensions

BENGALURU, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Gold prices held broadly steady early on Friday after dipping the session before, drawing some support from global political tensions and a slightly weaker dollar against the yen.


* Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,213.14 an ounce at 0058 GMT, having lost 0.1 percent on Thursday.

* U.S. gold futures were largely steady at around $1,219 an ounce.

* The U.S. dollar was down 0.2 percent at 110.84 yen.

* Japan’s economy expanded at an annualised rate of 1.9 percent in April-June, bouncing back from a contraction in the previous quarter, government data showed on Friday, in a sign its recovery momentum remained intact.

* Asian stock markets fell on Friday amid heightened global trade tensions, while currency markets were whipsawed by a searing selloff in Russia’s rouble after the United States slapped on new sanctions, and as economic worries sent the Turkish lira tumbling.

* Russia condemned a new round of U.S. sanctions as illegal on Thursday and said it had begun working on retaliatory measures after news of the curbs pushed the rouble to two-year lows over fears Moscow was locked in a spiral of never-ending sanctions.

* Turkey’s lira tumbled to another record low against the dollar on Thursday after a Turkish delegation returned from meeting U.S. officials in Washington with no apparent solution to a diplomatic rift that has opened up between them.

* North Korea on Thursday denounced U.S. calls for enforcing international sanctions despite its goodwill moves and said progress on denuclearization promises could not be expected if Washington followed an “outdated acting script”.

* Japan’s Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said he had a frank exchange about trade on Thursday with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, while appearing to stick with Tokyo’s position of avoiding a bilateral free-trade agreement.

* The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting that a strong economy was helping the labour market weather ongoing trade tensions between the United States and a host of other countries.

* The U.S. economy is performing “very well” with continued growth clearing the way for one or two more interest rate hikes in 2018, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said on Thursday in an interview in which he dismissed earlier worries about weak inflation.

Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru Editing by Joseph Radford

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