May 18, 2018 / 12:56 AM / 8 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices unchanged amid firm U.S. dollar, treasuries

    BENGALURU, May 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices were flat in early
trade on Friday after hitting a fresh 2018 low overnight, as the
dollar and U.S. bond yields held firm near their recent highs.
    * Spot gold        was unchanged at $1,290.12 per ounce at
0037 GMT, after marking its lowest since Dec. 27 in the previous
session at $1,285.41.
    * U.S. gold futures         for June delivery were steady at
$1,289.50 per ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was steady at 93.491,
after hitting the highest level for the year earlier this week
at 93.632.
    * Yields on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries            
hovered close to their highest level in seven years.      
    * U.S. President Donald Trump sought on Thursday to placate
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un after Pyongyang threatened to
scrap an unprecedented summit, saying Kim's security would be
guaranteed in any deal and his country would not suffer the fate
of Muammar Gaddafi's Libya, unless that could not be reached.
    * Trump said on Thursday that China had become "very
spoiled" on trade with the United States and cast doubt on the
success of his efforts to rebalance the relationship with
Beijing as high-stakes U.S.-China negotiations opened in
    * The U.S. economy has reached the threshold for maximum
employment and it may already be lower than is sustainable,
Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said on Thursday.
    * New applications for U.S. jobless benefits increased more
than expected last week, but the number of Americans on
unemployment rolls fell to its lowest level since 1973, pointing
to diminishing labor market slack.             
    * Ewald Nowotny, a member of the European Central Bank's
Governing Council, urged the ECB on Thursday not to wait too
long to normalize its monetary policy.             
    * Europe needs a rainy-day fund to support it in the event
of any future crisis, and the European Central Bank will have
"no excuse" not to buy up government debt to ease any liquidity
crunches, the ECB's outgoing vice president said on Thursday.
    * Japan's core consumer prices rose 0.7 percent in April
from a year earlier, government data showed on Friday, showing
little of the inflationary momentum needed to reach the central
bank's elusive 2 percent target.             
    0600  Germany        Producer prices              Apr
    0600  Germany        Wholesale price index        Apr
    0900  Euro zone      Eurostat trade               Mar

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Richard
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