October 8, 2018 / 1:24 AM / 9 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold dips as dollar firms after China eases policy

BENGALURU, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched lower on Monday as the dollar firmed after China’s central bank eased its domestic policy to support the economy.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,200.31 an ounce at 0103 GMT. It gained 0.9 percent last week.

* U.S. gold futures fell 0.1 percent to $1,204.40 an ounce.

* The dollar was up 0.1 percent against a basket of six major currencies.

* China’s central bank on Sunday announced a steep cut in the level of cash that banks must hold as reserves, stepping up moves to lower financing costs and spur growth amid concerns over the economic drag from an escalating trade dispute with the United States.

* U.S. job growth slowed sharply in September likely as Hurricane Florence depressed restaurant and retail payrolls, but the unemployment rate fell to near a 49-year low of 3.7 percent, pointing to a further tightening in labor market conditions.

* The U.S. Treasuries market tumbled for a third straight day on Friday with the 10-year yield hitting a seven-year high, as a solid payrolls report fuelled jitters about rising inflation and more interest rate hikes.

* Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams on Friday endorsed the idea that the Fed will raise rates once more this year and three times next year.

* A bond market rout that drove yields through key levels has some investors prepared for another leg that may finally declare an end to a three-decade-long bull run.

* The European Commission has told Italy it is concerned at its budget deficit plans for the next three years since they breach what the EU asked the country to do in July, but Rome insisted on Saturday it would “not retreat” from its spending plans.

* North Korean leader Kim Jong Un described his talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday as “productive and wonderful,” state media KCNA said on Monday, striking a positive tone compared with a previous state media stance when talks were stalled.

* Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.20 percent to 23,475,548.77 ounces

* Speculators cut their net short position in COMEX gold by 4,186 contracts to 73,128 in week to Oct. 2.

* Higher domestic prices dented demand for physical gold in India, prompting dealers to offer the biggest discounts in 3-1/2 months last week, while neighbouring Bangladesh approved its first policy to regulate imports and exports of the metal. DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0145 China Caixin services PMI Sep 0600 Germany Industrial output Aug 0830 Euro zone Sentix index Oct 1400 U.S. Employment trends Sep (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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