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REFILE-PRECIOUS-Gold firm despite dollar strength; political uncertainty supports
March 31, 2017 / 1:17 AM / 6 months ago

REFILE-PRECIOUS-Gold firm despite dollar strength; political uncertainty supports

 (Refiles to fix formatting of DATA AHEAD)
    March 31 (Reuters) - Gold prices held firm on Friday amid
lingering uncertainty over upcoming elections in Europe and
Britain's exit from the European Union, even as the dollar
hovered around two-week highs on positive U.S. economic data.
          
    FUNDAMENTALS 
    
    * Spot gold        was mostly unchanged at $1,242.43 per
ounce at 0058 GMT, while U.S. gold futures         were down 0.3
percent at $1,241.3.
    * The dollar index        was up 0.1 percent at 100.48, near
a two-week high of 100.57 hit earlier in the session.       
    * U.S. economic growth slowed less than previously reported
in the fourth quarter as robust consumer spending provided a
boost that was partially offset by the largest gain in imports
in two years.             
    * Prospects for the U.S. economy have brightened now that
fiscal stimulus from Washington appears more likely, so the
Federal Reserve will need to keep raising rates and eventually
trim its bond portfolio to avoid an overheating, one of the most
influential Fed policymakers said on Thursday.             
    * The potential for the rise of the far right in European
elections this year, along with British Prime Minister Theresa
May formally triggering divorce proceedings from the EU on
Wednesday has enhanced gold's appeal as a safe-haven investment.
    * The European Union will tell Britain on Friday how it aims
to negotiate its "orderly withdrawal" from the bloc, limit
uncertainties for businesses and pave the way for a close future
partnership.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.14 percent to
832.32 tonnes on Thursday.          
    * Argentina's San Juan province ordered Barrick Gold Corp
                 to suspend some activities at its Veladero mine
after a pipe carrying gold-bearing solution ruptured on the
leach pad, state-run news agency Telam reported on Thursday.
            
    * Low interest rates are likely to drive fresh investment in
gold this year, potentially pushing prices above $1,400 an ounce
despite a well-supplied market, an industry report said on
Thursday.             
    * The European Central Bank needs to stick to its already
laid out policy path, several policymakers argued on Thursday,
although a top conservative urged them to leave the door open to
a more rapid reduction in stimulus.             
    * Japan's core consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in February
from a year earlier, government data showed on Friday.
            

    DATA AHEAD  (GMT)
    0100 China     Official manufacturing PMI     Mar
    0100 China     Official non-manufacturing PMI Mar
    0600 Germany   Retail sales                   Feb
    0645 France    Consumer spending              Feb
    0645 France    Producer prices                Feb
    0800 Germany   Unemployment rate              Mar
    0830 Britain   GDP                             Q4
    0900 Euro zone Inflation flash                Mar
    1230 U.S.      Personal income                Feb
    1345 U.S.      Chicago PMI                    Mar


 (Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
Pullin)
  

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