February 16, 2017 / 1:17 AM / 10 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices rise as dollar gives up gains

    Feb 16 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched up on Thursday as the
dollar drifted down from one-month highs hit in the previous
session on upbeat U.S. economic data.    
    * Spot gold        had edged up 0.1 percent to $1,233.16 per
ounce at 0053 GMT, while U.S. gold futures         were up 0.1
percent at $1,234.6.
    * U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in January and
consumer prices recorded their biggest gain in nearly four
years, boosting prospects of an interest rate increase from the
Federal Reserve next month.             
    * The dollar index        was down 0.2 percent at 100.98. 
It had rallied to its highest since Jan. 12 at 101.76 after the
data was released.
    * Republican lawmakers on Wednesday criticized Fed Chair
Janet Yellen's stewardship of the U.S. economy and urged her to
halt work on financial regulation until President Donald Trump
names new policymakers to the central bank.
    * In a tense hearing before the House of Representatives'
Financial Services Committee, Republicans made clear they will
keep pressing the Fed to trim its large holdings of bonds and
set interest rates based on established mathematical rules.
    * Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker on Wednesday
said his view that the economy is ready for three rate hikes
this year does not depend on any fiscal policy changes under
    * Barrick Gold Corp          reported better-than-expected
profits and ambitious debt reduction plans on Wednesday, saying
its balance sheet is now healthy enough to boost dividends and
exploration spending.             
    * Goldman Sachs on Wednesday raised its expectations that
the Fed will hike interest rates in the first half of 2017, and
J.P. Morgan brought forward its forecast of the next rate
increase to May, following robust economic data for January.
    * Potential anti-establishment upsets in national elections
in France, the Netherlands and Germany, alongside a global rise
in protectionism pose the biggest threats to the euro zone
economy, according to a majority of economists polled by
    * Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.32 percent to 843.54
tonnes on Wednesday.             

      1330 U.S.     Building permits          Jan
      1330 U.S.     Housing starts            Jan
      1330 U.S.     Weekly jobless claims 
      1330 U.S.   Philly Fed business index   Feb


 (Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph

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