PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady amid firm dollar

    Oct 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices were nearly unchanged early
on Thursday as the dollar held firm on the back of strong U.S.
Treasury yields.
    * Spot gold        was steady at $1,281.24 an ounce at 0053
GMT. It hit an over one-week low of $1,276.73 in the previous
    * U.S. gold futures         for December delivery were flat
at $1,283 per ounce.
    * The dollar index        was nearly unchanged at 93.320. It
was flat versus the yen       
    * The U.S. economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace in
September through early October despite the impact of hurricanes
on some regions, the Federal Reserve said in its latest snapshot
of the U.S. economy released on Wednesday, but there were still
few signs of an acceleration in inflation.             
    * President Donald Trump will announce his decision on who
will be the chair of the Federal Reserve in the "coming days,"
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday.
    * An overhaul of U.S. tax code to make it simpler and more
broad-based should foster business investments and productivity,
boosting overall domestic economic growth, New York Federal
Reserve President William Dudley said on Wednesday.             
    * U.S. Senate Republicans appeared to have enough votes on
Wednesday to pass a budget measure that is crucial to President
Donald Trump's hopes of enacting tax reform legislation before
the end of the year.             
    * Easy monetary policy gives euro zone governments a window
of opportunity to enact the reforms needed to boost growth once
interest rates have to rise, European Central Bank President
Mario Draghi said on Wednesday.             
    * Catalonia's leader pledged to press ahead with his
independence bid if Spain moves to suspend the region's
autonomy, a regional government source said on Wednesday, hours
before a deadline over keeping the euro zone's fourth-largest
economy united.             
    * British pay growth has lagged behind inflation again,
official data showed on Wednesday, adding to questions about how
quickly the Bank of England will raise interest rates after an
initial hike expected on Nov. 2.             
    * Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia          is exploring options
for its gold business ScotiaMocatta, including a possible sale
of the world's oldest gold trader, three sources familiar with
the matter said on Wednesday.             

    0200  China       GDP                         Q3
    0200  China       Industrial output           Sep
    0200  China       Retail sales                Sep
    0200  China       Urban investment            Sep
    0830  Britain     Retail sales                Sep
    1230  U.S.        Weekly jobless claims
    1230  U.S.        Philly Fed business index   Oct
    1400  U.S.        Leading index               Sep

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph