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PRECIOUS-Gold below 3-wk peak as dollar recovers; Trump policy in focus
March 23, 2017 / 1:08 AM / 6 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold below 3-wk peak as dollar recovers; Trump policy in focus

    March 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Thursday held below a
3-week peak hit in the prior session, as the dollar recovered
from seven-week lows and markets looked to see if U.S. President
Donald Trump could push through a healthcare bill.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was down 0.2 percent at $1,245.80 per
ounce by 0048 GMT. On Wednesday, it touched its strongest since
Feb. 28 at $1,251.26.
    * U.S. gold futures         were down 0.3 percent at $1,246.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was up 0.1 percent at 99.742. It
fell to a near seven-week low of 99.547 on Wednesday.
    * Financial markets' immediate focus is on whether Trump can
gather enough support at a vote later in the day to pass a bill
to rollback Obamacare, a first major test of his legislative
ability.
    * Trump and House of Representatives leaders were pushing
for votes for their plan to overhaul Obamacare and said they
were making progress in their efforts to win over conservative
Republicans who have demanded changes to the legislation.
            
    * The gold market was not affected by what police called a
"marauding terrorist attack" in London on Wednesday.
            
    * U.S. home resales fell more than expected in February amid
a persistent shortage of houses on the market that is pushing up
prices and sidelining prospective buyers.             
    * With the U.S. workforce nearly fully employed and
inflation heading toward 2 percent, the Federal Reserve should
raise interest rates two more times this year and continue work
on a plan to gradually trim its massive balance sheet, Dallas
Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan said.             
    * Britain's economy looks set to defy a slowdown again this
year as the country moves closer to leaving the European Union,
with the hit to shoppers from surging inflation partly offset by
more investment and exports, a Bank of England report suggested.
            
    * Ivory Coast's government has approved the sale of state
miner Sodemi's 30 percent stake in the Ity gold project to
Canada's Endeavour Mining          and a group of investors led
by former national soccer star Didier Drogba, a government
spokesman said.             
        
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
      0700  Germany       GfK consumer sentiment        Apr 
      0745  France        Business climate              Mar 
      0930  Britain       Retail sales                  Feb 
      1200  Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gives opening  
           remarks at event       
      1230  U.S.           Weekly jobless claims 
      1400  U.S.           New home sales               Feb 
      1500  Euro zone      Consumer confidence          Feb 

 (Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by
Richard Pullin)
  

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