July 26, 2018 / 1:30 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold edges up as dollar eases after US-EU trade agreement

    BENGALURU, July 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched up early
on Thursday as the dollar eased after U.S. President Donald
Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker
agreed to work towards eliminating trade barriers.
               
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        was up 0.2 percent at $1,233.26 an ounce
at 0102 GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures         for August delivery were
0.2-percent higher at $1,233.60 an ounce.    
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.2 percent to
94.164. It marked a two-week low earlier in the session.       
    * In what the European Union's chief executive, Jean-Claude
Juncker called a "major concession", U.S. President Donald Trump
agreed on Wednesday to refrain from imposing car tariffs while
the two sides launch negotiations to cut other trade barriers,
easing the threat of a transatlantic trade war.             
    * The European Central Bank is all but certain to keep
policy on hold on Thursday, arguing that the risks from an
amplifying global trade conflict don't warrant a deviation from
its plan to gently exit its easy-money policy of the last few
years.             
    * The Bank of Japan will consider at next week's rate review
changing the composition of exchange-traded funds (ETF) it buys
as part of is massive stimulus programme, the Nikkei newspaper
reported on Thursday.             
    * Barring an economic or Brexit-related shock in the next
few days - and given the way 2018 is going, few would bet
against surprises of any kind with confidence - the Bank of
England will almost certainly raise interest rates on Aug. 2.
            
    * Global economic activity remains solid but has already
passed its peak, according to economists in Reuters polls who
expect protectionist policies on trade, which show no signs of
abating, to tap the brakes significantly.             
    * Canadian and Mexican officials insisted on Wednesday that
the North American Free Trade Agreement remain a trilateral pact
and reiterated their opposition to U.S. calls for a so-called
"sunset clause" that could end the deal after five years.
             
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund fell 0.29 percent to 800.20
tonnes on Wednesday.          
    * China's gold output dropped by 7.9 percent in the first
half of this year to 190.28 tonnes due to an environmental
crackdown on illegal mining, Xinhua News Agency reported on
Wednesday, citing figures from the China Gold Association.
            
    * Canada's Barrick Gold Corp                  reported a
weaker-than-expected second-quarter adjusted profit on
Wednesday, hurt primarily by lower gold sales, along with higher
maintenance and fuel costs.             

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru
Editing by Joseph Radford)
  
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