June 29, 2018 / 1:11 AM / in 4 months

PRECIOUS-Gold nudges up but on track for worst month since Nov. 2016

    BENGALURU, June 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up early
Friday after slipping to a more than six-month low in the
previous session, as the dollar softened from recent highs, but
the yellow metal was headed for its worst monthly performance
since November 2016. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1 percent at $1,248.64 an ounce,
as of 0053 GMT. It touched its weakest since Dec. 13 at
$1,245.32 on Thursday.
    * Bullion was on track for its third straight weekly
decline, having slipped 1.6 percent thus far and was down about
3.8 percent for the month. It was also heading towards its worst
quarterly loss since end-2016.
    * U.S. gold futures         were 0.1 percent lower at
$1,249.90 an ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six currencies, inched down 0.1 percent at
95.264. It hit a near one-year high at 95.531 on Thursday.
      
    * The U.S. economy slowed more than previously estimated in
the first quarter amid the weakest consumer spending in nearly
five years, but growth appears to have since regained momentum
on the back of a robust labor market and tax cuts.             
    * Tight U.S. labor markets could bring unemployment rates
for blacks and Hispanics more in line with that of whites,
another reason for the Federal Reserve to stop raising interest
rates, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard said on Thursday.
            
    * The fiscal boost to the U.S. economy is likely to fade
over a year or two, something that should make the Fed more
cautious in continuing to raise interest rates, Bullard said.
            
    * U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir
Putin will meet for their first summit on July 16 in Helsinki, a
venue famed for its Cold War diplomacy.             
    * China unveiled on Thursday a long-anticipated easing of
foreign investment curbs on sectors including banking, the
automotive and heavy industries and agriculture as Beijing moved
to fulfil its promise to open its markets further.             
    * The outlook for global growth has weakened in recent weeks
and risks are skewed to the downside, due in part to increased
protectionism, the European Central Bank said on Thursday.
            
    * Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane said on
Thursday his unexpected vote to raise interest rates this month
should not be considered "surprising or radical" after a decade
of ultra-loose monetary policy.             
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    0600  Germany    Import prices         May
    0600  Germany    Retail sales          May
    0645  France     Consumer spending     May
    0645  France     Producer prices       May
    0800  Germany    Unemployment rate     June
    0830  UK         GDP                   Q1
    1230  U.S.       Personal income       May
    1345  U.S.       Chicago PMI           June

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil
Nair)
  
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