May 22, 2017 / 1:20 AM / 6 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds gains as Trump concerns support

    May 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Monday held gains from the
previous session amid ongoing political worries surrounding U.S.
President Donald Trump that are expected to keep weighing on the
dollar.     
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was almost flat at $1,255.30 per ounce by
0058 GMT. It rose about 0.7 percent on Friday. 
    * U.S. gold futures         were up 0.2 percent at $1,255.50
an ounce.
    * The dollar struggled to push ahead on Monday, holding near
six-month lows against a basket of currencies as investors
assessed the impact of U.S. political turmoil and a resurgent
euro.       
    * Trump was hit on Friday by embarrassing leaks that a
senior adviser was a "person of interest" in a probe of possible
collusion with Russia during last year's election campaign and
that Trump had boasted to Russian officials of firing the man
heading the investigation.                 
    * Trump raised the firing of the FBI director in a meeting
with Russia's foreign minister to explain why he had been unable
to find areas of cooperation with Moscow, two top administration
officials said on Sunday.             
    * Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by Trump
amid an agency probe into alleged Russian meddling in the U.S.
election, has agreed to testify before the U.S. Senate
Intelligence Committee at a public hearing, the committee said
in a statement on Friday.             
    * North Korea said on Monday it had successfully tested an
intermediate-range ballistic missile to confirm the reliability
of the late-stage guidance of the nuclear warhead, indicating
further advances in the ability to hit U.S. targets.
            
    * The U.S Federal Reserve's expected plans for rate
increases may be too fast for an economy that has shown recent
signs of weakness, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on
Friday, making the case for a continued go-slow approach as
inflation progress stalls.             
    * Hedge funds and other money managers cut their net long
position in COMEX gold for the third week in a row in the week
ended May 16, taking it to a two-month low as bullion prices
rose, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data
showed on Friday.             
    * South African miner Northam Platinum          is searching
for mines to buy, but is struggling to find high-quality,
mechanised operations for sale in South Africa, its chief
executive said.             
    * Russia's central bank, which is seeking to diversify the
country's international reserves, posted an increase in its gold
reserves in April for the fourth consecutive month.             
    
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 
    1230 U.S. National activity index     Apr        

 (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford)
  

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