PRECIOUS-Gold steady as Trump's impeachment inquiry stokes risk-off mood

Sept 25 (Reuters) - Gold prices were trading steady on Wednesday, a touch below a nearly three-week high hit in the previous session, as global equities dipped after U.S. lawmakers launched a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.


* Spot gold was little changed at $1,532.20 per ounce, as of 0122 GMT. In the previous session, prices of the safe-haven bullion climbed to their highest level since Sept. 5 at $1,535.60.

* U.S. gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,539.5 per ounce.

* The dollar wobbled on Wednesday, while Asian stocks fell as impeachment inquiry into Trump increased the prospects of prolonged political uncertainty in the world’s largest economy.

* Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday launched a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump, accusing him of seeking foreign help to smear Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of next year’s election.

* Trump delivered a stinging rebuke to China’s trade practices on Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly, saying he would not accept a “bad deal” in U.S.-China trade negotiations.

* U.S. consumer confidence ebbed in September as an escalation in trade tensions fanned concerns about business and labor market conditions, a potentially worrying signal for consumer spending, which has been driving the economy.

* The UK Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Boris Johnson’s decision to shut down parliament in the run-up to Brexit was unlawful, but a defiant prime minister said he disagreed and vowed that Britain would leave the EU by Oct. 31, come what may.

* Saudi Arabia believes Iran conducted the recent attacks on its oil facilities and will consider a military response once its investigation is complete, the kingdom’s minister of state for foreign affairs said on Tuesday.

* German business morale rose in September for the first time in six months but Europe’s largest economy is still likely slipping into recession as the U.S.-China trade conflict and Brexit bite, the Ifo economic institute said on Tuesday.

* Bank of Japan policymakers discussed the need for the central bank to take a preemptive response to downside risks to the economy and prices, minutes of the central bank’s July 29-30 meeting showed on Wednesday.

DATA AHEAD 0645 France Consumer Confidence Sept 1000 UK CBI Distributive Trades 1400 US New Home Sales-Units Aug (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)