May 15, 2018 / 1:10 AM / in 4 months

PRECIOUS-Gold prices little changed amid firm dollar

    BENGALURU, May 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little
changed on Tuesday, as the dollar held on to gains from the
previous session after a Federal Reserve official backed the
case for further interest rate hikes in the United States.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        rose 0.1 percent to $1,314.24 per ounce
at 0056 GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures         for June delivery were, however,
down 0.3 percent at $1,314.10 per ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was steady at 92.631.
      
    * The Fed should continue its gradual approach to raising
interest rates given that inflation has not yet reached the U.S.
central bank's 2 percent goal in a sustained way, Cleveland Fed
President Loretta Mester said on Monday.             
    * The U.S. yield curve could invert later this year or early
2019, St. Louis Federal Reserve James Bullard said on Monday, in
a market move in which short-term U.S. interest rates rise above
longer-term bond yields, a scenario which has preceded recent
U.S. recessions.             
    * Three European Central Bank policymakers stuck with an
upbeat assessment of the euro zone economy on Monday, shrugging
off signs of a slowdown in inflation and activity.             
    * Asia stocks pulled back on Tuesday, after an uninspiring
performance on Wall Street eclipsed support from U.S.-China
trade optimism, while supply concerns kept crude oil prices near
3-1/2-year highs.            
    * Israeli troops shot dead dozens of Palestinian protesters
on the Gaza border on Monday when the high-profile opening of
the U.S. embassy to Israel in Jerusalem by the Trump
administration raised tension to boiling point after weeks of
demonstrations.             
    * President Donald Trump on Monday defended his decision to
revisit penalties for Chinese company ZTE Corp for flouting U.S.
sanctions on trade with Iran, saying the telecom maker is a big
buyer for U.S. suppliers.             
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.17 percent to 856.17
tonnes on Monday.             
    * Shanta Gold          will conduct further exploration near
its main mine in Tanzania after cutting costs in the past year
to cope with tougher mining laws, the chief executive told
Reuters.             
    * CI Investments Inc sharply decreased its holdings in the
world's biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund during the
first quarter of 2018, a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
13F filing showed on Monday.             
    
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

    1230  U.S.         Import prices                        Apr
    1230  U.S.         Export prices                        Apr
    1400  U.S.   University of Michigan sentiment index     May

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)
  
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