September 8, 2017 / 1:15 AM / 17 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rises to 1-year high amid sluggish dollar

    Sept 8 (Reuters) - Gold prices hit a fresh one-year high
early on Friday as the dollar sagged on the back of
weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data and the euro firmed.
        
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        nudged up to $1,350.46 per ounce, its
highest since September 2016, and was little changed at
$1,349.43 at 0056 GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures         for December delivery were up
0.3 percent at $1,354.40.
    * The euro hovered below a 2-1/2-year high versus the dollar
on Friday, with the U.S. currency losing traction after a policy
meeting by the European Central Bank did little to support the
beleaguered greenback.           
    * The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
jumped to a more than two-year high last week amid a surge in
applications in hurricane-ravaged Texas, but the underlying
trend remained consistent with a strong labor market.
            
   * The Federal Reserve should continue gradually raising U.S.
interest rates given low inflation should rebound, New York Fed
President William Dudley said in a Thursday speech that sounded
slightly less confident than his previous hawkish comments in
the face of weak price readings.             
    * Once the Federal Reserve starts its years-long plan to
shrink its balance sheet, the U.S. central bank will not be
reassessing it each meeting as it does its interest-rate
decisions, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on
Thursday.             
    * The euro's strength is already weighing on inflation and
will be a key factor for the European Central Bank next month
when it decides how to proceed with its massive stimulus
programme in 2018, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday.
            
    * The ECB lowered some of its inflation projections to
reflect a firming euro but lifted some growth forecasts after
the euro zone economy registered its best growth run in a
decade.               
    * U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he would
prefer not to use military action against North Korea to counter
its nuclear and missile threat but that if he did it would be a
"very sad day" for the leadership in Pyongyang.             
    * The euro zone economy grew at a robust pace in the three
months to June, driven mostly by higher domestic demand and
investment, official data released on Thursday confirmed.
            
          
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 
    
        *   China            Trade balance           Aug 
     0600   Germany          Trade balance           Aug 
     0645   France           Industrial output       Jul 
     0830   Britain          Industrial output       Jul 
     1400   U.S.             Wholesale sales         Jul 
      
     *No exact timing 

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru)
  

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