July 5, 2018 / 1:12 AM / 4 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady on softer dollar ahead of Fed minutes

    BENGALURU, July 5 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little
changed early on Thursday, after hitting a one-week high in the
previous session, as the dollar eased and the markets awaited
minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's June policy meeting
later in day.

    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        held steady at $1,256.02 an ounce as of
0047 GMT. The metal touched a one-week high at $1,261.10 in the
prior session and gained over $20 from Tuesday's low of
$1,237.32 an ounce, which was its weakest since Dec. 12.
    * U.S. gold futures         were up 0.3 percent at $1,257.20
an ounce.
    * The dollar index        , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was 0.1 percent lower
at 94.565.       
    * Investors are awaiting the outcome of a two-day U.S.
Federal Reserve policy meeting to be announced at 2 p.m. EDT
(1800 GMT)           
    * Chinese tariffs on $34 billion of U.S. goods will take
effect from midnight July 6 Beijing time, a person with
knowledge of the plan told Reuters, amid worsening trade
tensions between the world's two largest economies.             
    * China will "absolutely not" fire the first shot in a trade
war with the United States and will not be the first to levy
tariffs, its finance ministry said on Wednesday.             
    * Trade barriers being erected by major economies could
jeopardise the global economic recovery and their effects are
already starting to show, the World Trade Organization said on
Wednesday in a report on trade restrictions among G20 nations.
            
    * The United States appears to have shelved an "all or
nothing" approach to North Korean denuclearization as U.S.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepares to head back to North
Korea this week hoping to agree a roadmap for its nuclear
disarmament.             
    * Iran could reduce its co-operation with the U.N. nuclear
watchdog, President Hassan Rouhani told the body's head on
Wednesday, after he warned U.S. President Donald Trump of
"consequences" of fresh sanctions against Iranian oil sales.
            
    * Bank of Japan board member Yutaka Harada warned on
Wednesday that raising interest rates quickly would severely
damage financial institutions, underscoring market views that
the central bank would go slow in exiting crisis-mode stimulus.
                        
    * Euro zone business growth accelerated in June, offering
encouragement to the European Central Bank to tighten policy,
but optimism among purchasing managers was at its lowest ebb
since late 2016, a survey found.             
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
    0600  Germany     Industrial orders             May
    1215  U.S.        ADP national employment       June
    1230  U.S.        Weekly jobless claims 
    1400  U.S.        ISM non-manufacturing PMI     June
    1800  Federal Reserve to release minutes from June 12-13
meeting
    

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas
Mohan)
  
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