January 5, 2017 / 12:52 AM / 10 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold hits 4-week high as dollar weakens

Jan 5 (Reuters) - Gold rose to its highest in four weeks on
Thursday as the U.S. dollar retreated from a 14-year peak
touched earlier this week. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,167.98 an ounce
by 0032 GMT. It earlier hit its highest since Dec. 9 at
$1,169.52.
    * U.S. gold futures climbed 0.3 percent to $1,168.70
per ounce.
    * The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, fell 0.5 percent to 102.170.
    * Almost all Federal Reserve policymakers thought the U.S.
economy could grow more quickly because of fiscal stimulus under
the Trump administration and many were eyeing faster interest
rate increases, minutes from the central bank's December meeting
showed. 
    * Businesses across the euro zone ended 2016 by ramping up
activity at the fastest pace for 5-1/2 half years, a survey
showed on Wednesday, as a weaker currency boosted demand for
their goods and services in December. 
    * Japanese manufacturing activity expanded at the quickest
pace in a year in December as orders picked up, a private survey
showed on Wednesday, in an encouraging sign that the struggling
economy may be regaining momentum. 
    * Gold imports to Turkey rose to 36.7 tonnes in December, up
from 4.65 tonnes in the same period a year earlier, their
highest monthly level in just over two years, data from the
Istanbul bourse showed on Wednesday. 
    * The Perth Mint's sales of gold products rose in December,
while silver sales more than halved, the mint said in a blog
post on its website on Wednesday. 
    * Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, have dropped about 14 percent
since the U.S. presidential election in November. They were
unchanged on Wednesday at 813.87 tonnes.
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    MARKET NEWS    
    * Oil prices were firm on Thursday, buoyed by data showing a
fall in U.S. crude inventories and by record car sales in the
United States. 
    * Asian stocks edged higher on Thursday, underpinned by a
firm Wall Street. 

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford)

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