August 21, 2019 / 2:00 AM / 4 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices hold firm above $1,500, Fed minutes in focus

Aug 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady on Wednesday after recovering to above the key $1,500 an ounce level in the previous session, with investors waiting for the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s July meeting for possible clues on further U.S. interest rate cuts.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold had inched down 0.1% to $1,505.42 per ounce by 0116 GMT.

* Gold on Tuesday recovered from a more-than-1% slide the day before, climbing above $1,500 an ounce again.

* U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,516.20 an ounce.

* Investors are now focused on the minutes of the Fed’s most recent meeting, which are due on Wednesday.

* They are also waiting for the central bank’s Jackson Hole seminar later this week and a Group of Seven summit this weekend for clues on what additional steps policymakers may take to boost economic growth.

* Traders see an about 94% chance of a 25 basis-point cut in U.S. interest rates in September.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.21% to 845.17 tonnes on Tuesday.

* The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s value against a basket of six major currencies, was flat after drifting away from a three-week high hit on Monday.

* U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he had to confront China over trade even if it caused short-term harm to the U.S. economy because Beijing had been cheating Washington for decades.

* U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday the U.S. was not sending “mixed messages” on Huawei Technologies , and he does not believe a U.S. blacklist of the Chinese telecommunications giant will block a trade deal with Beijing.

* Earlier, the U.S. extended a reprieve that permits Huawei to buy components from U.S. companies to supply existing customers, but also moved to add more than 40 of Huawei’s units to its economic blacklist.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

* 1400 US Existing Home Sales July

* 1800 US Federal Open Market Committee releases the minutes from its July 30-31 policy meeting (Reporting by Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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