June 4, 2018 / 1:28 AM / 7 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady amid rate hike prospects

    BENGALURU, June 4 (Reuters) - Gold prices steadied early on
Monday, after falling to the lowest in more than a week in the
previous session, as expectations of an interest rate hike this
month offset support from worries about a trade war.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        was nearly unchanged at $1,293.06 per
ounce by 0111 GMT. It touched the lowest since May 23 at
$1,289.12 an ounce in the previous session.
    * U.S. gold futures         for August delivery were down
0.2 percent at $1,297.10 per ounce. 
    * U.S. job growth accelerated in May and the unemployment
rate dropped to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent, pointing to
rapidly tightening labor market conditions, which could stir
concerns about inflation.             
    * The Federal Reserve should continue to raise rates
gradually over the next two years, a U.S. central banker said on
Friday, with higher borrowing costs perhaps beginning to act as
a brake on growth starting early next year.             
    * Finance leaders of the closest U.S. allies vented anger
over the Trump administration's metal import tariffs on
Saturday, ending a three-day meeting with a stern rebuke of
Washington and setting up a heated fight at a G7 summit next
week in Quebec.             
    * China warned the United States on Sunday that any
agreements reached on trade and business between the two
countries will be void if Washington implements tariffs and
other trade measures, as the two ended their latest round of
talks in Beijing.                 
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 1.25 percent to 836.42
tonnes on Friday from 847.03 tonnes on Thursday.          
    * Hedge funds and money managers raised their net long
position in COMEX gold contracts to the strongest since late
April in the week to May 29, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.        
    * Gold demand in most Asian centres remained sluggish last
week with prices stuck in a tight range, while an inauspicious
period for buying the yellow metal dampened demand in major
consumer India.         
    * U.S. hedge fund Paulson & Co, led by long-time gold bull
John Paulson, is set to name a group of investors that will work
together to try to drive changes and better returns from gold
mining companies after years of dismal industry performance,
according to people familiar with the situation.             
    * Ghana's gold output rose to 2.805 million ounces in 2017,
up 10.2 percent from the previous year, data from the Ghana
Chamber of Mines showed on Friday.             
        
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
    0830  Euro zone     Sentix index               June
    0900  Euro zone     Producer prices            April
    1345  U.S.          ISM-New York index         May
    1400  U.S.          Factory orders             April
    1400  U.S.          Employment trends          May

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru; editing by Richard
Pullin)
  
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