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PRECIOUS-Gold holds gains as dollar steadies
December 28, 2016 / 1:19 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds gains as dollar steadies

Dec 28 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed early on
Wednesday, after rising to a near two-week high in the previous
session, amid a steady dollar.

    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold edged 0.1 percent higher to $1,139.56 an
ounce by 0058 GMT. The bullion hit its strongest since Dec. 14
on Tuesday at $1,148.98. 
    * U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,140.60
per ounce.
    * The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was flat at 103.
    * The dollar edged up against the yen on Wednesday within
sight of a 10-1/2 month high in thin holiday trade, after strong
U.S. economic data reinforced expectations that the U.S. Federal
Reserve would be more hawkish in the year ahead. 
    * U.S. consumer confidence shot to its highest in more than
15 years in December as Americans saw more strength ahead in
business conditions, stock prices and the job market following
the election of Donald Trump as president in November.
 
    * Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, continued to fall on
Wednesday, fell 0.14 percent to 823.36 tonnes on Tuesday.
 
    * Japan's factory output rose in November and manufacturers
expect to ramp up production in coming months, data showed on
Wednesday. 
    * The figures reinforce a dominant market view that the Bank
of Japan will hold off on expanding monetary stimulus in coming
months with a recent rebound in exports seen supporting growth.
    * China's industrial sector showed the strongest profit
growth in three months in November, suggesting the world's
second-largest economy was improving, though policymakers noted
gains were too dependent on rebounding prices for oil products,
iron and steel. 
    * Chinese firms reported strong performance in the fourth
quarter, with hiring on the rise and profits up, but the outlook
for 2017 is uncertain as cash flow remains weak and inventories
rose at a record pace in late 2016, a private survey showed.
 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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  DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
     1500     U.S.       Pending home sales            November

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
Pullin)

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