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PRECIOUS-Gold steady, but on track for 7th straight weekly loss
December 23, 2016 / 1:07 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady, but on track for 7th straight weekly loss

Dec 23 (Reuters) - Gold held little changed early on Friday
and was on track for a seventh straight weekly decline amid
expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will opt for more
interest rate hikes in 2017.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was steady at $1,128.76 an ounce by 0038
GMT. Bullion closed down 0.2 percent on Thursday. The yellow
metal was on track to end the week down nearly 0.5 percent. 
    * U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,130
per ounce. 
    * New orders for U.S.-made capital goods rose more than
expected in November. Other data on Thursday showed that
third-quarter U.S. economic growth beat expectations.
 
    * But the number of Americans applying for unemployment aid
hit a six-month high last week and U.S. consumer spending
increased modestly in November. 
    * More consistent evidence of U.S. economic strength could
prompt the Fed to tighten credit again sooner than later. Higher
rates discourage buying of non-interest-paying bullion, which is
priced in dollars.
    * Global investors' equity holdings rose to six-month highs
in December on bets that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's
promised fiscal splurge would spur higher growth and inflation,
a Reuters monthly poll showed on Thursday. 
    * China's leadership is signalling growth will slow slightly
in 2017, policy advisers say, as it struggles to strike a
balance between supporting the economy with loose credit
conditions and preventing a destabilising build-up in debt.
 
    * Japan's cabinet approved on Thursday a record $830 billion
spending budget for fiscal 2017 that counts on low interest
rates and a weak yen to limit borrowing, underscoring the
challenge Tokyo faces in curbing the industrial world's heaviest
debt burden. 
    * Russia and Kazakhstan raised their gold reserves in
November, data from the International Monetary Fund showed on
Thursday. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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  DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
    0700  Germany            GfK consumer sentiment         Jan 
    0745  France             GDP final                       Q3 
    0745  France             Consumer spending               Nov
    0930  Britain            GDP                             Q3 
    1500  U.S.               New home sales                  Nov

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

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