December 22, 2017 / 1:21 AM / in 8 months

PRECIOUS-Gold hovers below 2-week high, but eyes second weekly gain

    Dec 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices traded just below a two-week
high on Friday, pressured by a firmer dollar, but was on track
to log a second consecutive week of gains.
         
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,265.99 an
ounce at 0102 GMT, after hitting $1,268.91 - its highest level
since Dec. 6 - in the previous session.
    * It was up 0.85 percent for the week. 
    * U.S. gold futures         slipped 0.1 percent to $1,269.4
an ounce. 
    * The dollar edged up on Friday though remained on track for
weekly losses.       
    * Asian stocks edged up on Friday on new data pointing to
steady growth in the U.S. economy, while the euro slipped after
a vote in Catalonia favoured separatists wanting to break away
from Spain.                          
    * Republicans in the U.S. Congress on Thursday advanced
stopgap legislation to keep the federal government operating
past Friday when funding expires, seeking to avert a
self-inflicted disaster just before the Christmas holiday
season.             
    * More than 120 countries defied President Donald Trump on
Thursday and voted in favor of a United Nations General Assembly
resolution calling for the United States to drop its recent
recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.             
    * The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in more than two
years in the third quarter, powered by robust business spending,
and is poised for what could be a modest lift next year from
sweeping tax cuts passed by Congress this week.             
    * The federal tax bill that Congress approved this week is
expected to provide a modest lift to the U.S. economy in 2018
and 2019, as lower taxes should help consumer spending and
business spending, J.P. Morgan economists said on Thursday.
            
    * The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Thursday
and its governor said economic improvements alone would not
trigger a withdrawal of stimulus, reassuring markets it will lag
well behind its overseas peers in ending crisis-mode easing.
            
    * The Moscow Exchange will launch deliverable futures for
gold in 2018 in a move to further prop up bullion market
liquidity, bourse chief executive Alexander Afanasiev said on
Thursday.             
    * Workers at Pan African Resource's         ,         
flagship gold mine in South Africa embarked on a wildcat strike
on Sunday in a dispute over living allowance, an industry source
with direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.
                   
    
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)
    
    U.K.    GDP      Q3
    

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina
Gibbs)
  
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