March 14, 2017 / 1:21 AM / 7 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady ahead of Fed meeting

    March 14 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady on Tuesday,
with investors waiting for the start later in the session of a
two-day Federal Reserve meeting where the U.S. central bank is
widely expected to raise interest rates.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        had edged down 0.1 percent to $1,202.36
per ounce by 0057 GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures         were down 0.1 percent at $1,202
per ounce.
    * Fed policymakers on Tuesday gather for a two-day meeting
that is expected to end with the central bank raising interest
rates for the second time in three months. 
    * The statement from the Fed, due to be released Wednesday
at 1800 GMT, will be followed by a briefing at 1830 GMT.
           
    * Investors are also focusing on Wednesday's Dutch
elections. The chance of a eurosceptic party coming to power in
the Netherlands is seen as small, but a strong election
performance could fuel speculation of a surprise result in
French presidential elections in April and May.  
    * Former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls will ask voters
to back centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron in the first round of
the April-May presidential election, Le Parisien newspaper
reported on Monday, citing sources close to Valls.             
    * British Prime Minister Theresa May has won the right to
launch divorce proceedings with the European Union and begin two
years of talks that will shape the future of Britain and Europe.
            
    * Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.83 percent on Monday.
         
    * U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be "pushing
hard" to advance U.S. interests in his debut meeting with Group
of 20 counterparts this week, including reaffirming commitments
to avoid competitive currency devaluations, a senior Treasury
official said on Monday.             
    * China's central bank does not have a "bottom line" for
either the yuan exchange rate against the dollar or foreign
exchange reserves, a senior official told Reuters in an
interview.             
    * The Bank of Japan is expected to keep monetary policy
steady on Thursday and stress that inflation is nowhere near
levels that justify talk of withdrawing massive stimulus, as
weak consumer spending casts a cloud over an otherwise healthy
pick-up in the economy.                
    
     DATA/EVENT AHEAD  (GMT)
     0200 China     Industrial output       Jan
     0200 China     Retail sales            Jan
     0200 China     Urban investment        Jan
     1000 Germany   ZEW economic sentiment  Mar
     1000 Euro zone Industrial production   Jan
     1000 U.S.      NFIB business optimism  Feb
     Federal Open Market Committee starts two-day meeting


 (Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford)
  

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