August 1, 2018 / 1:05 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady ahead of Fed statement

    BENGALURU, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady early
Wednesday, after slipping to a near two-week low in the previous
session, as investors waited for the outcome of the U.S. Federal
Reserve's monetary policy meeting for outlook on interest rates.
    * Spot gold        was unchanged at $1,223.45 an ounce at
0050 GMT, after hitting the lowest since July 19 at $1,214.40
    * U.S. gold futures         were 0.1 percent lower at
$1,222.40 an ounce.  
    * The Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates
unchanged on Wednesday, but solid economic growth combined with
rising inflation are likely to keep it on track for another two
hikes this year even as President Donald Trump has ramped up
criticism of its push to raise rates.             
    * U.S. consumer spending increased solidly in June as
households spent more at restaurants and on accommodation,
building a strong base for the economy heading into the third
quarter, while inflation rose moderately.             
    * The Chinese yuan dropped in offshore trade and the
Australian dollar slipped on Wednesday on a report the U.S.
administration will propose raising its planned tariffs on $200
billion Chinese imports to 25 percent.                    
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was steady at 94.537.
    * China will keep its economic growth within a reasonable
range and achieve this year's target despite challenges, the
state-run Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday as a trade war with
the United States intensifies.             
    * The Bank of England should raise interest rates this week
but also tell the public it will be ready to make a U-turn if
Brexit talks sour or trade tensions with the United States
escalate, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research
said on Wednesday.             
    * The Bank of Japan pledged to keep its massive stimulus in
place but made tweaks to reduce adverse effects of its policies
on markets and commercial banks, reflecting the central bank's
view that its inflation target remains stubbornly out of reach.
    * Euro zone economic growth slowed further in the second
quarter, preliminary data showed, on what economists said were
concerns over a possible trade war with the United States.
    0145  China        Caixin manufacturing PMI final       Jul
    0750  France       Markit manufacturing PMI             Jul
    0750  Germany      Markit/BME manufacturing PMI         Jul
    0800  Euro zone    Markit manufacturing PMI             Jul
    1215  U.S.         ADP national employment              Jul
    1400  U.S.         Construction spending                Jun
    1400  U.S.         ISM manufacturing PMI                Jul
    1800  U.S. Federal Reserve releases policy statement after
two-day meeting

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
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