March 14, 2018 / 1:29 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady on weaker dollar after Tillerson dismissal

    March 14 (Reuters) - Gold prices were largely steady on
Wednesday on a weaker dollar following U.S. Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson's sudden dismissal and after consumer price data
pointed towards a path of gradual hikes in U.S. interest rates.
   
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        fell 0.1 percent to $1,325.19 per ounce
at 0124 GMT.    
    * U.S. gold futures         for April delivery fell 0.1
percent to $1,325.60 per ounce.
    * Asian shares eased amid fears of rising U.S. protectionism
as President Donald Trump fired his Secretary of State, regarded
as a moderate in his administration, and eyes hefty tariffs on
Chinese imports.            
    * The dollar wallowed against the yen and other major
currencies on Wednesday.       
    * Trump fired Tillerson on Tuesday after a series of public
rifts over policy on North Korea, Russia and Iran, replacing his
chief diplomat with loyalist CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
            
    * U.S. consumer prices cooled in February amid a decline in
gasoline prices and a moderation in the cost of rental
accommodation, the latest indication that an anticipated pickup
in inflation probably will be only gradual.             
    * Trump is seeking to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of
Chinese imports and will target the technology and
telecommunications sectors, two people who had discussed the
issue with the Trump administration said on Tuesday.
            
    * Trump's import tariffs will do more harm than good to the
U.S. economy, say the vast majority of economists polled by
Reuters, who also expect the Fed to raise interest rates this
year more than previously thought.             
    * A global regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies created
by startups to finance new projects could slow the pace of
virtual currency sales as questions mount about their
transparency and the risk of scams for investors.             
    * Investors have moved to pricing in a March 2019 rate rise
by the European Central Bank, whose dovish, go-slow message has
persuaded markets to wipe out bets on an earlier move.
               
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    0200  China       Industrial output     Feb
    0200  China       Commodities output    Feb
    0200  China       Retail sales          Feb
    0200  China       Urban investment      Feb
    1000  Euro zone   Industrial production Jan
    1230  U.S.        Retail sales          Feb
    1400  U.S.        Business inventories  Jan
    

 (Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru
Editing by Joseph Radford)
  
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