May 4, 2017 / 1:23 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold edges up, but holds near 6-wk low on hawkish Fed

3 Min Read

    May 4 (Reuters) - Gold inched up on Thursday, but held near
a six-week low hit in the previous session as expectations that
the U.S. Federal Reserve may raise interest rates as early as
June boosted the dollar.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        rose 0.2 percent to $1,240.81 per ounce
as of 0100 GMT, but fell 1.5 percent on Wednesday, its worst
single-day drop since Nov. 23, breaching the 50-day and 200-day
moving averages. Prices hit a low of $1,236.01, a level not seen
since March 21.
    * U.S. gold futures         dropped 0.6 percent to $1,240.90
an ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was up 0.1 percent at 99.315 on
Thursday after firming 0.2 percent on Wednesday.
    * The U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on
Wednesday and downplayed weak first-quarter economic growth
while emphasizing the strength of the labor market, in a sign it
was still on track for two more rate rises this year.
            
    * U.S. companies hired workers at a slower but still-solid
pace in April while the services sector grew more than expected,
supporting the notion that economic expansion remains on track
despite a weak first quarter, private reports released on
Wednesday showed.             
    * Investors are awaiting Friday's monthly U.S. non-farm
payrolls report for greater signs of the Fed's likely rate hike
trajectory through the end of the year. Economists polled by
Reuters expect U.S. employers to have added 185,000 jobs in
April, up from 98,000 in March.
    * The Institute for Supply Management said its index of
non-manufacturing activity (services) rose to 57.5 April from
55.2 in March, handily beating expectations of 55.8 from a
Reuters poll of 64 economists.             
    * The euro zone economy started the year with robust growth
that outstripped that of the United States and set the stage for
a strong 2017, preliminary estimates showed on Wednesday.
            
    * Peru's Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in favor of a
farmer who Newmont Mining Corp         claimed had illegally
occupied its land, dealing a blow to the U.S. miner's
long-stalled efforts to build a $5 billion gold mine in the
Andean country.             
    
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 
    
     0145  China          Caixin services PMI           Apr 
     0750  France         Markit services PMI           Apr 
     0755  Germany        Markit services PMI           Apr 
     0800  Euro zone      Markit services PMI final     Apr 
     0900  Euro zone      Retail sales                  Mar 
     1230  U.S.           International trade           Mar 
     1230  U.S.           Weekly jobless claims 
     1400  U.S.           Factory orders                Mar 

 (Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju
Dwarakanath)
  

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