September 13, 2017 / 1:21 AM / 12 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady amid firm dollar, geopolitical tensions support

    Sept 13 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Wednesday as
the dollar remained firm, with safe-haven demand for the metal
buoyed after U.S. President Donald Trump's latest comments on
tensions over North Korea.
        
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was nearly unchanged at $1,330.85 an
ounce by 0059 GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures         for December delivery were flat
at $1,335.00 an ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which tracks the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was steady at 91.890.
         
    * Asian shares inched to a 10-year peak on Wednesday,
following Wall Street higher, while the dollar's rise against
the yen helped boost Japanese shares.               
    * U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that U.N.
sanctions on North Korea agreed this week were a small step and
nothing compared to what would have to happen to deal with the
country's nuclear programme.             
    * U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday
that if China doesn't follow the United Nations sanctions
approved on North Korea, he will seek new financial sanctions on
Beijing to cut off access to the U.S. financial
system.            
    * The U.S. poverty rate fell for the second straight year in
2016, while median income rose to an all-time high of $59,000 as
the economy made up ground lost during the 2007-2009 recession,
federal government data released on Tuesday showed.             
    * Unconventional central bank tools have largely worked and
should remain part of the policy arsenal despite some
deficiencies, European Central Bank Vice President Vitor
Constancio said on Tuesday.             
    * British inflation hit its joint highest level in more than
five years in August, complicating the Bank of England's job
this week of explaining why it is not raising interest rates.
            
    * Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he wants the
country's central bank to focus on monetary policies geared at
achieving its 2 percent inflation target, regardless of who
becomes the next Bank of Japan governor, the Nikkei newspaper
said on Wednesday.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.35 percent to
838.64 tonnes on Tuesday from 835.68 tonnes on Monday.          
    
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)
    
    0600  Germany       Consumer prices final        Aug        
    0600  Germany       Wholesale price index        Aug 
    0900  Euro zone     Employment                   Q2 
    0900  Euro zone     Industrial production        Jul 

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford)
  

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