July 18, 2018 / 1:17 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady as dollar firms after Fed comments

    BENGALURU, July 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Wednesday held
steady near a one-year low hit in the previous session, as the
dollar firmed after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's
U.S. economic outlook reinforced views the central bank is on
track to steadily hike interest rates.
           
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        was largely unchanged at $1,227.16 an
ounce at 0047 GMT. On Tuesday, it fell 1 percent and hit its
lowest since last July at $1,225.58.
    * U.S. gold futures         for August delivery were little
changed at $1,227 an ounce.    
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1 percent at
95.037.       
    * The Fed's Powell said on Tuesday he sees the United States
on course for years more of steady growth, but was challenged in
a congressional hearing by senators worried the Trump
administration's trade policies were already damaging businesses
in their districts.             
    * With the U.S. economy firing on all cylinders, the Fed
should ease away from monetary policy accommodation and move
interest rates up far enough to prevent unwanted inflation but
not so fast that a recession ensues, another U.S. central banker
said Tuesday.             
    * U.S. industrial production increased in June, boosted by a
sharp rebound in manufacturing and further gains in mining
output, the latest sign of robust economic growth in the second
quarter.             
    * U.S. President Trump tried on Tuesday to calm a storm over
his failure to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin accountable
for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, saying he misspoke in a
joint news conference in Helsinki.             
    * Japan and the European Union signed a wide-ranging free
trade deal on Tuesday that both sides hope will act as a
counterweight to the protectionist forces unleashed by President
Trump.             
    * British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly avoided a
defeat in parliament at the hands of pro-EU lawmakers from her
own party on Tuesday, fending off a rebellion that had
threatened to deepen a crisis over her Brexit strategy.
            
    * Iran has filed a lawsuit against the United States
alleging that Washington's decision in May to impose sanctions
after pulling out of a nuclear deal violates a 1955 treaty
between the two countries, the International Court of Justice
said on Tuesday.             
    * Azerbaijan's top gold producer, Anglo Asian Mining
       , said on Tuesday it had increased its gold production by
43 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2018 to 33,255
ounces from 23,218 ounces in the same period last year.
            
    * South Africa's Anglo American Platinum          has
invested $100 million in two venture capital funds focused on
increasing demand for platinum group metals, it said on Tuesday.
            

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru
Editing by Joseph Radford)
  
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