November 6, 2018 / 1:28 AM / 15 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady, eyes on U.S. midterm elections

BENGALURU, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady early Tuesday ahead of U.S. midterm elections that may fuel interest in the metal as a hedge against risk if the result sparks volatility in wider financial markets.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was largely unchanged at $1,230.77 per ounce, as of 0111 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,232.1 per ounce.

* Asian shares ticked up in early Tuesday trade, supported by Wall Street gains although sentiment was tempered ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, the first major electoral test of President Donald Trump’s big tax cuts and hostile trade policies.

* The United States on Monday restored sanctions targeting Iran’s oil, banking and transportation sectors and threatened more action to stop its “outlaw” policies, steps the Islamic Republic called economic warfare and vowed to defy.

* Euro zone finance ministers called on Italy on Monday to change its 2019 budget before a deadline set for next week to conform with European Union rules, but Rome dug in its heels saying its disputed deficit plan would not change.

* Investor morale in the euro zone fell more than expected in November and hit its lowest level in just over two years, a survey showed on Monday, as concerns about U.S. trade policies and the future of Germany’s car industry weighed on sentiment.

* Chinese President Xi Jinping promised on Monday to lower tariffs, broaden market access and import more from overseas at the start of a trade expo designed to demonstrate goodwill amid mounting frictions with the U.S. and others.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.23 percent to 757.29 tonnes on Monday from 759.06 tonnes on Friday.

* If all goes according to plan, Barrick Gold will have fewer mines and workers one year after acquiring Africa-focused Randgold Resources, the Canadian miner’s executive chairman said on Monday, as its investors approved the deal.

* India raised gold holdings by 6.53 tonnes to 586.46 tonnes in September 2018, according to IMF data.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0850 France Markit services PMI Oct

0855 Germany Markit services PMI Oct

0900 Euro zone Markit services PMI final Oct

1000 Euro zone Producer prices Sep (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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