January 9, 2017 / 1:07 AM / 10 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold under pressure on U.S. rate hike prospects

Jan 9 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed early on
Monday, after dipping from a one-month high last week on
expectations of further interest rate hikes, with investor
attention on more views from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
        
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was steady at $1,173.06 an ounce by 0047
GMT. The metal rose nearly two percent last week, its biggest
weekly percentage rise since early November.
    * U.S. gold futures were unchanged at $1,173.80 per
ounce.
    * The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, edged 0.1 percent higher at
102.27.
    * U.S. employment increased less than expected in December
but a rebound in wages pointed to sustained labor market
momentum that sets up the economy for stronger growth and
further interest rate increases this year. 
    * Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans said on
Friday the central bank could raise interest rates three times
this year, faster than he had expected just a few months ago and
in line with the majority of his colleagues. 
    * The outlook for U.S. rates may become a little clearer
when Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen appears at a webcast
town hall meeting with educators on Thursday.
    * Two regional Fed presidents will speak later Monday, and
there are no less than five speeches lined up for Thursday. The
main economic release of the week is not until Friday, when
retail sales figures for December are out.
    * Hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish position
in COMEX gold contracts for the eighth straight week in the week
to Jan. 3, taking it to the smallest in 11 months, U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on
Friday. 
    * Gold demand in Asia gathered some steam last week on
wedding season purchases in India, with prices swinging to a
premium there for the first time in over a month, and traders
expecting demand to strengthen due to the upcoming Chinese New
Year. 
    * Canada's Eldorado Gold Corp said on Friday it has
indefinitely shelved expansion plans for its Kisladag mine in
Turkey and deferred a decision on developing a project in
Brazil, citing lower gold prices. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    MARKET REPORT
    * Asian stocks are poised to rise on Monday and the dollar
firmed against a basket of currencies after the latest payrolls
data highlighted U.S. jobs and wages growth. 
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
    0900 Germany Industrial Output for November
    1130 EZ Sentix Index 
    1700 US Employment Trends for December

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

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