December 27, 2017 / 1:24 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold hovers below 3-wk high amid firm dollar

    Dec 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on Wednesday, after
hitting a more than three-week high in the previous session,
amid a firmer dollar.
    * Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,282.31 an
ounce at 0057 GMT, after hitting its highest since Dec. 1 at
$1,283.72 in the previous session.
    * U.S. gold futures         were little changed at $1,287 an
    * The dollar index       , which tracks the greenback
against a basket of six major rivals, was steady at 93.283. The
dollar was up 0.1 percent against the yen at 113.32       .    
    * Oil prices were supported around a 2-1/2-year top on
Wednesday after an explosion of a Libyan crude pipeline sparked
supply fears, while gold and copper hovered near multi-week
highs, boosting commodity- and energy-linked shares around Asia.
    * The United States announced sanctions on two North Korean
officials behind their country's ballistic missile programme on
Tuesday, while Russia reiterated an offer to mediate to ease
tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.             
    * Russia is ready to act as a mediator between North Korea
and the United States if both parties are willing for it to play
such a role, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.             
    * Chinese industrial firms continued to ramp up production
in the fourth quarter, a private survey on Wednesday showed, but
growth in wages and hiring slowed in a further sign of cooling
momentum in the world's second-biggest economy.             
    * Japan's households spent more than expected in November
while consumer inflation ticked up and the jobless rate hit a
fresh 24-year low, offering the central bank some hope an
economic recovery will drive up inflation to its 2 percent

    1500    U.S.   Pending home sales    Nov

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
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