July 6, 2017 / 12:57 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady as U.S. policymakers split on rate hike outlook

    BENGALURU, July 6 (Reuters) - Gold held steady early on
Thursday after Federal Reserve minutes released the day before
showed the central bank was split on how inflation might affect
the pace of interest rate hikes. 
         
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was nearly unchanged at $1,226.06 per
ounce at 0036 GMT .
    * U.S. gold futures         for August delivery rose 0.3
percent to $1,225.50 per ounce.
    * Fed policymakers were increasingly split on the outlook
for inflation and how it might impact the future pace of
interest rate rises, according to the minutes of the central
bank's last policy meeting on June 13-14.             
    * The United States cautioned on Wednesday it was ready to
use force if need be to stop North Korea's nuclear missile
programme but said it preferred global diplomatic action against
Pyongyang for defying world powers by test launching a ballistic
missile that could hit Alaska.                 
    * The dollar was little changed on Wednesday against a
basket of currencies in the wake of the Fed minutes.       
    * Trading in Asian shares was tentative on Thursday, while
oil prices inched higher following the previous day's steep
declines.            
    * Holdings at the SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.66 percent to 840.67
tonnes on Wednesday from 846.29 tonnes on Monday.               
  
    * Japan's central bank will cut its inflation forecasts but
hold off expanding stimulus this month, people familiar with the
matter say, in another sign the bank is retreating from Governor
Haruhiko Kuroda's initial pledge to do whatever it takes to
achieve his ambitious inflation target.             
    * Use of the euro as an international currency has declined
over the past year, primarily due to concerns over political
risk and the increased use of emerging market currencies, such
as the Chinese renminbi, the European Central Bank said on
Wednesday.                
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT) 
     0600  Germany     Industrial orders           May          
     1215  U.S.        ADP national employment     Jun 
     1230  U.S.        International trade         May 
     1230  U.S.        Weekly jobless claims 
     1400  U.S.        ISM non-manufacturing PMI   Jun 

    
 (Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford)
  

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