June 21, 2018 / 1:17 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices inch up, but firm dollar limits gains

    BENGALURU, June 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on
Thursday, but hovered close to a six-month low touched in the
previous session as a firm U.S. dollar curbed gains. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1 percent at $1,269.05 an ounce
by 0055 GMT. It touched $1,267.40 on Wednesday, its lowest since
Dec. 22.
    * U.S. gold futures         for August delivery were down
0.3 percent at $1,271.30 per ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, stood at 95.102 after
rising to 95.299 overnight, its highest since mid-July 2017.
      
    * The U.S. jobs market does not appear overly tight and the
Federal Reserve should continue with a gradual pace of interest
rate rises amid a strong economy to balance its employment and
inflation goals, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said on
Wednesday.             
    * Concerns about U.S. trade policy are increasing among
business officials who are beginning to hold off on hiring and
investment decisions given the level of uncertainty, Powell said
on Wednesday.             
    * A developing trade war between the world's biggest
economies is weighing on business confidence and could force
central banks to downgrade their outlook, the world's most
powerful policymakers argued on Wednesday.             
    * It is too early to assess the monetary policy impact of an
escalation in trade tariffs between the United States and its
partners but there is no reason for optimism, the head of the
European Central Bank said on Wednesday.             
    * The Japanese economy could suffer "quite significant"
consequences if a trade war between the United States and China
drags on, Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on
Wednesday.             
    * The European Union will begin charging import duties of 25
percent on a range of U.S. products on Friday, in response to
U.S tariffs imposed on EU steel and aluminium early this month,
the European Commission said on Wednesday.             
    * North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi
Jinping discussed measures to bolster "strategic and tactical"
cooperation between the two countries in a second meeting on
Wednesday, the North's state media said on Thursday.
            
    * Russia's gold reserves stood at 62.0 million troy ounces
as of the start of June, the central bank said on Wednesday. The
value of the bank's holdings was $80.51 billion, it said on its
website.             
    
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)
    
    0645  France      Business climate manufacturing   June
    1100  Bank of England announces rate decision 
    1230  U.S.        Weekly jobless claims
    1230  U.S.        Philly Fed business index        June
    1300  U.S.        Monthly home price index         April
    1400  U.S.        Leading index                    May
    1400  Euro zone   Consumer confidence              June

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru
Editing by Joseph Radford)
  
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