February 26, 2018 / 1:36 AM / 6 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices rise after worst week in 2-1/2 months

    Feb 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on early Monday,
after declining more than 1 percent last week, as the U.S.
dollar steadied following recent gains.
               
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        rose 0.1 percent at $1,330.59 an ounce at
0118 GMT. Prices fell 1.4 percent for the week ended Feb. 23,
the biggest decline in 2-1/2 months.
    * U.S. gold futures         were up 0.1 percent at $1,332.3
per ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was flat at 89.881.
    * Rising U.S. Treasury yields, a view that the dollar's
selloff had been overdone, and minutes from the Fed's January
rate-setting meeting that offered a relatively upbeat tone
helped the dollar index gain 0.9 percent last week.       
    * Asian markets were in a guardedly upbeat mood, heading
into an event-packed week headlined by U.S. inflation data and
the first House testimony by the new head of the Federal
Reserve.            
    * The U.S. Federal Reserve, looking past a recent stock
market sell-off and concern about inflation, said on Friday that
it sees steady growth continuing and no serious risks on the
horizon that might pause its planned pace of rate hikes.
            
    * The Bank of England might need to raise British interest
rates somewhat sooner than Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden had
expected if wage growth picks up early this year, according to a
newspaper interview released on Saturday.             
    * Hedge funds and money managers raised their net long
positions in COMEX gold and copper contracts in the week to Feb.
20, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on
Friday.              
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.18 percent to
829.26 tonnes on Friday from 827.79 tonnes on Thursday.
    * Newcrest Mining Ltd          said on Monday it had
invested $250 million to buy a 27.1 percent stake in Canadian
miner Lundin Gold Inc          as the gold major ramps up its
exposure to Ecuador to secure growth.             
    * South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on
Sunday said that Pan African Resources          would cut 1,722
jobs at its Evander Gold Mine in the country's Mpumalanga
province.             
    * High local prices hit physical gold demand in India this
week while activity in most other Asian centres remained subdued
due to the Lunar New Year holiday.             

    DATA AHEAD (In GMT)
    
    1330  U.S.        National activity index            Jan
    1500  U.S.        New home sales                     Jan
    1530  U.S.        Dallas Fed manufacturing index     Feb

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by Richard
Pullin)
  
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