December 18, 2017 / 1:19 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices edge down amid firmer dollar, equities

    Dec 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched down early on Monday,
pressured by firmer equities and a buoyant dollar after a bill
to overhaul the tax system in the United States moved a step
closer to ratification. 
    * Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,254.16 an
ounce at 0059 GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures         were little changed at $1,257 an
    * The dollar held modest gains against the euro and yen on
Monday, having received a lift after U.S. tax reform efforts
moved another step closer to ratification over the weekend.
    * Top U.S. Republicans said on Sunday they expected Congress
to pass a tax code overhaul this week, with a Senate vote as
early as Tuesday and President Donald Trump aiming to sign the
bill by week's end.             
    * Asian shares inched up on Monday, tracking Wall Street,
which hit record highs on expectations U.S. lawmakers will pass
a long-awaited tax bill.            
    * The United Nations Security Council is due to vote on
Monday on a draft resolution calling for the withdrawal of U.S.
President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the
capital of Israel, diplomats said, a move likely to face a
Washington veto.             
    * The United States provided intelligence to Russia that
helped thwart a potentially deadly bomb attack in St.
Petersburg, U.S. and Russian officials said on Sunday, in a rare
public show of cooperation despite deep strains between the two
    * U.S. industrial production rose less than expected in
November as a drop in utilities output offset a post-hurricane
rebound in the oil and gas industries and the third consecutive
monthly advance for manufacturing, the Federal Reserve said on
    * The European Union agreed on Friday to move Brexit talks
onto trade and a transition pact but some leaders cautioned that
the final year of divorce negotiations before Britain's exit
could be fraught with peril.             
    * The Russian central bank delivered a sharper-than-expected
rate cut on Friday, a move that could help give consumers a
feel-good factor months before the March presidential election
which incumbent Vladimir Putin is expected to win.             

    0130  China      House prices                     Nov
    1500  U.S.       NAHB housing market index        Dec

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
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