March 8, 2018 / 1:16 AM / 5 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady as investors await clarity on Trump's tariff plan

    March 8 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady early on
Thursday as markets waited for more details on U.S. President
Donald Trump's proposed steel and aluminum tariffs and the
outcome of the European Central Bank's policy meeting.
        
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        rose 0.1 percent to $1,326.40 per ounce
at 0058 GMT. It hit its highest in a week on Wednesday at
$1,340.42. 
    * U.S. gold futures         were mostly unchanged at $1,327.
    * The White House said late Wednesday that Canada, Mexico
and possibly other countries may be exempted from the proposed
steel and aluminium tariffs.             
    * Trump is expected to sign a presidential proclamation
establishing the tariffs during a ceremony scheduled for 2030
GMT on Thursday, a source familiar with the situation said.
    * The European Central Bank is all but certain to keep
policy unchanged on Thursday but may tweak its communication
stance to offer at least a few clues about its progress towards
ending its unprecedented bond purchases later this year.
            
    * Businesses are reporting persistent labor market tightness
across the United States, with accelerating wage gains in many
regions, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday in a report that
bolstered the case for interest rate increases.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.03 percent to
833.73 tonnes on Wednesday from 833.98 tonnes on Tuesday.   
         
    * The five banks that settle every transaction in London's
$6.8 trillion a year gold market are changing the rules of their
clearing house to make it easier for newcomers to join.
            
    * India's gold imports in February dropped a quarter from a
year ago to 63 tonnes as higher prices curtailed demand in the
world's second-biggest consumer of bullion, provisional data
from precious metals consultancy GFMS and bank dealers showed.
            
    * Gold mining in Africa has a bad rap — particularly when it
comes to women. But in the gold mining belt of Mali, one of the
world's poorest countries, the victimization lens does great
injustice to the hundreds of women mining alongside men.
            
    
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    China   Trade data                 Feb
    1245   European Central Bank interest rate announcement
    1330   U.S.    Weekly jobless claims    


 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; editing by
Richard Pullin)
  
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