June 13, 2017 / 1:20 AM / 5 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady on caution ahead of Fed meeting

    BENGALURU, June 13 (Reuters) - Gold held steady on Tuesday
as investors remained cautious ahead of a two-day U.S. Federal
Reserve meeting that is likely to provide hints on the central
bank's interest rate policy for the remainder of the year.    
    
FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was nearly flat at $1,264.61 per ounce at
0057 GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures         for August delivery fell 0.2
percent to $1,266.9 per ounce
    * Palladium, which hit a 16-year high on Friday, was up 0.1
percent at $896 an ounce.
    * The Fed starts a two-day meeting on Tuesday, where it is
widely expected to hike interest rates. The focus is on whether
the Fed thinks the U.S. economy is robust enough to withstand
further rate increases through 2017.    
    * Higher rates could boost the dollar, making commodities
priced in the greenback more expensive for holders of other
currencies.
    * U.S. inflation expectations tumbled last month, with one
key measure hitting its lowest level since early 2016, according
to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York survey that could amplify
the central bank's concern over a broad slump in prices.
            
    * Britain's descent into political crisis just days before
Brexit talks begin has sapped confidence among business leaders
and infuriated bosses who were already grappling with the
fallout from the vote to leave the EU.
    * Euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary
Fund are likely to strike a compromise on Greece on Thursday,
paving the way for new loans for Athens while leaving the
contentious debt relief issue for later, officials said on
Monday.             
    * A small majority of traders in China's financial markets
think its central bank will likely raise short-term interest
rates this week if the Fed hikes its key policy rate, as widely
expected, according to a Reuters poll.             
    * South Africa's Sibanye Gold          said on Monday that
202 illegal miners have now been arrested at its Cooke
operations southwest of Johannesburg since the start of a
violent wildcat strike last Tuesday.                     
    
    MARKET REPORTS
    * Asian stocks crept higher on Tuesday, defying a weak lead
from Wall Street, which was dragged lower by technology stocks
for a second day, while the Canadian dollar soared on the
possibility interest rates might go up sooner than expected.
           

    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    0600   Germany  Wholesale prices                 May 
    0830   UK       CPI                              May  
    0830   UK       PPI                              May  
    0900   Germany  Economic sentiment index         June 
    1000   US       Small business confidence index  May  
    1230   US       PPI                              May   

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

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