December 20, 2017 / 1:23 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices little changed as dollar holds steady on tax bill hopes

    Dec 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices were nearly unchanged early
on Wednesday as the dollar held steady on expectations of a U.S.
tax overhaul.
    * Spot gold        was steady at $1,261.79 an ounce at 0051
    * U.S. gold futures         were little changed at $1,264.80
an ounce. 
    * The dollar was supported on Wednesday after the House of
Representatives approved the biggest U.S. tax overhaul in 30
years on Tuesday, though Congressional Republicans will likely
need to hold another vote later on Wednesday due to procedural
    * Asian shares fell on Wednesday, taking their cues from
Wall Street with investor enthusiasm toward U.S. tax changes
ebbing as the long-awaited reform bill wound its way through
    * The U.S. Congress is struggling through another
contentious week as infighting over defense spending, healthcare
and other matters complicates the drive to pass a temporary
spending bill by midnight on Friday to avert a partial
government shutdown.             
    * U.S. single-family homebuilding and permits surged to more
than 10-year highs in November, in a hopeful sign for a housing
market that has been hobbled by supply constraints.             
    * Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari,
who this year has dissented three times in votes at the U.S.
central bank's policy meetings which raised rates despite low
inflation, on Tuesday repeated his view that the labor market
still shows signs of slack and could be improved.             
    * The U.S. tax overhaul will give the economy a bit of a
lift next year, but will have little lasting impact, according
to a brief analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of San
    * European Central Bank policymakers are beginning to think
of how to support the euro zone economy after their 2.55
trillion euro quantitative easing (QE) scheme comes to an end
and as strong growth reduces the need for aggressive stimulus.

     0700  Germany         Producer prices              Nov
    0900  Euro zone        Current account              Oct
    1500  U.S.             Existing home sales          Nov

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha
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