December 18, 2019 / 1:50 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady as trade deal doubts offset positive U.S. data

    Dec 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on
Wednesday as mixed messages on the U.S-China trade deal
countered positive economic data out of the United States.
        
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was trading at $1,475.55 per ounce by
0118 GMT. U.S. gold futures        were flat at $1,480.20.
    * U.S. manufacturing production rebounded strongly in
November, while housing numbers rose higher than expected and
permits for future home construction soared to a 12-1/2-year
high.             
    * Asian shares held close to 18-month highs as markets
reacted to positive U.S. economic data, while the dollar       
hovered near a one-week high against a basket of currencies.
                  
    * On the trade front, U.S. Trade Representative Robert
Lighthizer on Tuesday said details of Chinese purchases across
U.S. agriculture, manufacturing, energy and service sectors in
the "phase one" deal would be detailed in writing, but gave no
further details about when the written agreement would be
released.             
    * The 17-month-long tariff war and its impact on the global
economy have pushed the safe-haven gold up about 15% so far this
year.
    * Washington is set to implement five rules to limit exports
of sophisticated technology to adversaries like China.
            
    * More Federal Reserve policymakers upheld the central
bank's stance on leaving interest rates steady on Tuesday and
said the bar to cutting or raising them would be high.
            
    * Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of
holding bullion and weigh on the dollar.
    * Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust      , fell 0.63% to
880.66 tonnes on Tuesday from Monday.          
    * Elsewhere, palladium        slipped 0.7% to $1,942.11 an
ounce. Prices hit an all-time peak of $1,998.43 in the previous
session.
    * Silver        was down 0.1% to $16.98 per ounce, while
platinum        fell 0.2% to $925.51.
    
DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0900  Germany    Ifo Business Climate New   Dec
0900  Germany    Ifo Curr Conditions  New   Dec
0900  Germany    Ifo Expectations     New   Dec
0930  UK         CPI YY                     Nov
1000  EU         HICP Final MM, YY          Nov

 (Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
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