September 28, 2018 / 1:16 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds near six-week lows as dollar firms on robust U.S. data

BENGALURU, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Gold prices held close early Friday to near six-week lows hit in the previous session, as the dollar firmed after upbeat U.S. economic data supported the Federal Reserve’s resolve for steady interest rate hikes over the next year.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.1 percent to $1,183.58 as of 0103 GMT. On Thursday, the metal fell about 1 percent and touched its lowest since Aug. 17 at $1,181.61 an ounce.

* Spot gold is down about 1.3 percent for the week, on track for its fourth weekly decline in five.

* U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,187.30 an ounce.

* The dollar stood tall against its peers on Friday, and hovered near a nine-month high versus the yen.

* U.S. economic growth accelerated in the second quarter at its fastest pace in nearly four years as previously estimated, putting the economy on track to hit the Trump administration’s goal of 3 percent annual growth.

* The U.S. economy does not face a large chance of a recession in the next two years and the Fed plans to keep gradually raising interest rates, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday.

* New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods fell in August after four straight months of strong gains and the goods trade deficit widened sharply, prompting some economists to significantly lower their economic growth estimates for the third quarter.

* President Donald Trump’s accusation of Chinese meddling in upcoming U.S. elections marks a new phase in an escalating pressure campaign against Beijing that Washington is pursuing on multiple fronts, senior U.S. officials said on Thursday.

* Italy’s government on Thursday targeted the budget deficit at 2.4 percent of gross domestic product for the next three years, defying Brussels and marking a victory for party chiefs over economy minister Giovanni Tria, an unaffiliated technocrat.

* Canada on Thursday shrugged off Trump’s criticism that talks to modernize NAFTA were moving too slowly and made clear it had to keep negotiating as long as there was a chance of success.

* Indonesians smarting from a falling share market and a currency near 20-year lows are turning to gold as a safe haven, boosting sales of retail ingots and encouraging state miner Aneka Tambang to up production.

* China’s net gold imports via main conduit Hong Kong fell to their lowest this year in August, as Beijing curbed import quotas for banks amid a trade tussle with the United States.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

0645 France Consumer spending Aug

0645 France Consumer prices Sep

0645 France Producer prices Aug

0755 Germany Unemployment rate Sep

0830 UK GDP Q2

1230 U.S. Personal income Aug

1345 U.S. Chicago PMI Sep (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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