September 22, 2017 / 1:10 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices inch up amid North Korea concerns

    Sept 22 (Reuters) - Gold edged up from a four-week low on
Friday as the latest twist in tensions between the United States
and North Korea prompted investors to seek out the safe-haven
asset. 
        
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was up 0.2 percent at $1,293.70 an ounce
at 0042 GMT, after marking its lowest since Aug. 25 at $1287.61
in the previous session. 
    * U.S. gold futures         for December delivery were up
0.1 percent at $1,296.60 an ounce.
    * The dollar on Friday eased versus the yen         and
against a basket of six major currencies       .
    * U.S. President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions against
North Korea on Thursday and Pyongyang's leader defiantly vowed
to persist with its nuclear and missile programmes and said it
would consider measures against the United States.             
    * North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un said in a rare statement
on Friday the North will consider the "highest level of
hard-line countermeasure in history" against the United States
in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to "totally
destroy" the North.             
    * The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
unexpectedly fell last week, but the near-term outlook for the
labour market was muddied by the continuing impact of Hurricanes
Harvey and Irma.             
    * Euro zone economic growth is gaining momentum and the
rapid fall in the unemployment rate is encouraging but inflation
has yet to show convincing signs of a sustained upward trend,
requiring continued stimulus, the European Central Bank said on
Thursday.                          
    * Monetary policy is not the right instrument to address
financial imbalances in the euro zone and macroprudential tools
must be used to tackle local issues, European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi said on Thursday.             
    * The BOJ held monetary settings steady at a policy review
on Thursday and asked markets to have faith that inflation will
hit its elusive 2 percent goal.             
    * China's central bank has told banks to strictly implement
United Nations sanctions against North Korea, four sources told
Reuters, amid U.S. concerns that Beijing has not been tough
enough over Pyongyang's repeated nuclear tests.             
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust       rose 0.73 percent to
852.24 tonnes on Thursday from 846.03 tonnes on Wednesday.
         
    * ICE Benchmark Administration, a unit of Intercontinental
Exchange (ICE)        , will take over as operator of London's
silver benchmark on Oct. 2, a week later than planned, the
bourse said on Thursday.              
    
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)
    0645  France       GDP final                        Q2 
    0700  France       Markit manufacturing PMI flash   Sep 
    0730  Germany      Markit manufacturing PMI flash   Sep 
    0800  Euro zone    Markit manufacturing PMI flash   Sep 
    1345  U.S.         Markit manufacturing PMI flash   Sep 

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford)
  

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