November 28, 2018 / 1:54 AM / 14 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady as Fed comments boost dollar

BENGALURU, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Gold prices steadied on Wednesday after hitting their lowest in nearly two weeks in the previous session, with the U.S. dollar firm as a senior Federal Reserve official reaffirmed the need for further rate increases.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was steady at $1,214.71 per ounce at 0134 GMT. Prices fell to their lowest since Nov. 15 at $1,211.36 per ounce on Tuesday.

* U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,214 per ounce.

* Asian shares dithered on Wednesday and the dollar jumped to a near 1-1/2 year top as risk assets rowed back amid conflicting signals on prospects for de-escalating the Sino-U.S. trade dispute.

* The Fed should be even more attentive to new economic data as its gradual interest rate hikes edge it ever closer to a neutral stance, the U.S. central bank’s second-in-command said on Tuesday.

* U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday kept up his criticism of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, saying rising interest rates and other Fed policies were damaging the U.S. economy, the Washington Post said.

* Trump is open to reaching a deal on U.S.-China trade irritants over dinner on Saturday with Chinese leader Xi Jinping but is ready to hike tariffs on Chinese imports if there is no breakthrough, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday.

* The British government and the Bank of England was likely to step up its warnings on Wednesday of a hit to the economy from a no-deal Brexit, potentially helping Prime Minister Theresa May to tackle deep opposition to her plan.

* EU government representatives are set to back on Thursday the European Commission’s disciplinary move against Italy over its debt, according to two European Union sources and a document seen by Reuters.

* La Mancha Group plans to buy more underground gold mines in Africa and is ready to snap up mines that Barrick Gold and Randgold Resources will sell after their merger, its billionaire chairman Naguib Sawiris said on Tuesday.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0700 Germany GfK consumer sentiment Dec

0900 Italy Producer prices Oct

0900 Euro zone Money supply, bank lending Oct

1330 U.S. GDP 2nd estimate Q3

1330 U.S. Wholesale inventories Oct

1500 U.S. New home sales Oct

1700 Fed Chairman Jerome Powell speaks before the Economic

Club of New York Signature Luncheon (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru Editing by Joseph Radford)

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