BENGALURU, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady in early Asian trade on Thursday, while the dollar edged higher and investors turned their attention to this week’s Federal Reserve meeting for clues on future interest rate hikes.
* Spot gold was flat at $1,225.61 per ounce at 0115 GMT.
* U.S. gold futures was down 0.2 percent to $1,226.6 per ounce.
* Asian stocks rose on Thursday as investors, relieved to have moved past the U.S. midterm elections without any major political surprises, drove a Wall Street rally, while the dollar clawed back some of its earlier losses.
* The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, inched up 0.2 percent.
* The U.S. Federal Reserve began its policy meeting on Wednesday facing a shifting political landscape but little in recent economic data to alter plans for an interest rate increase in December and more to come next year.
* The Fed’s policy statement is scheduled to be released at 2 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Thursday, and analysts do not foresee major changes.
* The top Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives pledged a new era of congressional scrutiny over President Donald Trump on Wednesday, shrugging off White House threats of political warfare if Democrats launch investigations into his affairs.
* Trump on Wednesday forced out Attorney General Jeff Sessions a day after congressional elections, and vowed to fight if the U.S. House of Representatives’ new Democratic majority launches probes into his administration.
* The chances of sealing a deal on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union this month are receding, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday.
* The European Union would have to see a breakthrough on Brexit within a week if its leaders are to endorse any deal with Britain in November, several official and diplomatic sources in Brussels said on Wednesday.
* The president of the European Central Bank told the Italian finance minister at a closed-door meeting that Italy’s high debt requires a degree of fiscal discipline that goes beyond what is mandated by EU regulations, two EU sources said.
* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.19 percent to 755.23 tonnes on Wednesday from 756.70 tonnes on Tuesday.
* China Trade data Oct
0700 Germany Trade data Sept
0745 France Trade data Sept
1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims
1900 U.S. Federal Reserve issues statement after two-day
policy meeting (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)