Feb 22 Gold held firm on Wednesday after falling
as much as 1 percent the session before, with investors waiting
for minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting for clues on
the timing of interest rate hikes.
* Spot gold was steady at $1,236 per ounce at 0054
GMT, while U.S. gold futures fell 0.1 percent to $1,237.
* Data showed the U.S. Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was
at 53.9 in February, down from 55.6 in January and expectations
* Traders are focused on the release of minutes from the
Fed's Jan. 30-Feb. 1 meeting, due on Wednesday at 1900 GMT.
* San Francisco Fed President John Williams warned Tuesday
that the global drop in interest rates since the financial
crisis is likely to persist and will make it harder for central
banks to keep world economies healthy.
* Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker suggested he
would support an interest rate increase at a mid-March policy
meeting as long as inflation, output and other data until then
continue to show the U.S. economy is growing.
* Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on said the U.S.
labour market has "more room to run", suggesting he does not
believe the central bank should raise rates quickly to head off
* Also on the radar is President Donald Trump's address to
Congress on Feb. 28, which analysts and traders hope will offer
details on infrastructure spending and tax cuts.
* Bank of England Governor Mark Carney faced a challenge
from lawmakers on Tuesday over the way the BoE changed one of
its fundamental assumptions about Britain's economy, which helps
it justify keeping interest rates at a record low.
* The likelihood of more monetary stimulus in Japan is
diminishing, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
* Switzerland's gold exports hit a 10-month low in January,
data from the Swiss customs bureau showed on Tuesday, as
shipments to China and Hong Kong fell to their lowest since
* AngloGold Ashanti lifted force majeure on its
Ghanaian Obuasi mine on Tuesday after the removal of thousands
of illegal miners, but said it was too early to determine the
extent of damage to the loss-making, mothballed operation.
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
0130 China House prices Jan
0900 Germany Ifo business climate Feb
0930 Britain GDP 2nd release Q4
1500 U.S. Existing home sales Jan
1900 Minutes of Federal Reserve's Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting
(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph