June 26, 2018 / 1:19 AM / 5 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold inches up as dollar eases, trade dispute intensifies

    BENGALURU, June 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on
Tuesday as the dollar held near a two-week low hit in the
previous session against the yen, amid escalating trade tensions
involving the United States and other major economies. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1 percent at $1,266.26 an ounce,
as of 0048 GMT. 
    * U.S. gold futures         for August delivery were down
0.1 percent at $1,268 per ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.1 percent to
109.64 yen       , after having slipped to a two-week low of
109.35 on Monday.
    * Conflicting signals from the Trump administration over
proposed restrictions on foreign investment in U.S. technology
companies, along with news that recently imposed import tariffs
are starting to disrupt supply chains, sent global stock markets
tumbling on Monday.             
    * U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that
forthcoming investment restrictions from the department will not
be specific to China but would apply "to all countries that are
trying to steal our technology."             
    * Hedge funds are loading up on bullish dollar bets at the
fastest pace on record, taking the Fed's recent hawkish signal
on interest rates at face value and going long the greenback for
the first time in a year.             
    * Sales of new U.S. single-family homes increased more than
expected in May, but the overall housing market remained
constrained by a dearth of properties for sale.             
    * Bank of Japan board member Makoto Sakurai said on Monday
the central bank needs to stick with its current easing
framework to support improvements in the job market and consumer
prices.             
    * Bank of Japan policymakers said the central bank should
"patiently continue" its powerful monetary easing but attention
must be paid to the potential side effects of prolonged easy
policy, a summary of opinions at the June review showed.
            
    * The European Central Bank will buy around 15 billion euros
worth of bonds per month next year, using cash from maturing
debt it has bought under its stimulus programme, ECB board
member Benoit Coeure said in an interview published on Monday.
            
    * Gold-backed exchange-traded funds tracked by Thomson
Reuters were headed for their weakest month since July 2017, as
investors covered losses in equities, commodities and other
markets caused by tariff disputes.             
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.54 percent to 820.21
tonnes on Monday.          
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
    1300  U.S.    S&P/Case-Shiller housing index     April
    1400  U.S.    Consumer confidence                June
    1400  U.S.    Richmond Fed composite index       June
    

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha
Gayathri)
  
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