August 24, 2018 / 1:15 AM / 4 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady, but rate hike views could dampen appeal

BENGALURU, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices held firm on Friday, after falling nearly 1 percent in the previous session and sentiment for the yellow metal remained negative amid an outlook for rising U.S. interest rates.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,186.35 an ounce at 0058 GMT, after falling about $10 on Thursday.

* U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,192.40 an ounce.

* Federal Reserve policymakers broadly agree that U.S. interest rates should rise further this year and next, despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s displeasure with such a plan, two policymakers’ comments underscored on Thursday.

* The Fed’s latest policy meeting minutes suggested it is on course to raise interest rates further after two hikes this year, denting demand for non-interest-yielding gold.

* Markets are awaiting Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments on Friday at the central bank’s annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for any change in its interest rate stance, especially after U.S. President Donald Trump’s attack on its monetary policy this week.

* U.S. and Chinese officials ended two days of talks on Thursday with no major breakthrough as their trade war escalated with activation of another round of tariffs on $16 billion worth of each country’s goods.

* The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week but sales of new single-family homes unexpectedly declined in July.

* The dollar was steady against a basket of six major currencies, at 95.656, after rising 0.6 percent on Thursday.

* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.19 percent to 767.23 tonnes on Thursday from Wednesday.

* South African precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater swung to a half-year profit, bolstered by the inclusion of its U.S platinum operations and higher platinum group metals basket price.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0600 Germany Detailed GDP Q2

1230 U.S. Durable goods July

1400 Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks

at Jackson Hole, Wyoming symposium

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair

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