January 26, 2018 / 1:44 AM / in 7 months

PRECIOUS-Gold inches up after dropping from 1-1/2 year highs

    Jan 25 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Friday,
recovering from a fall of as much as over 1 percent from
1-1/2-year highs in the previous session after U.S. President
Donald Trump backed a strong dollar.
        
    FUNDAMENTALS   
    * Spot gold        rose 0.3 percent to $1,350.86 per ounce
at 0126 GMT. The precious metal has gained 1.5 percent so far
this week.
    * Spot gold rose to 1,366.07 on Thursday, the highest since
Aug. 3, 2016. But, reversed gains after Trump told CNBC in an
interview in Davos, Switzerland that he wants to see a strong
dollar. 
    * U.S. gold futures         were down 1 percent at $1,348.
    * Trump's comment was a contradiction to comments made
previously by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin one day earlier
            
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, hit its weakest since Dec, 2014
at 88.438 on Thursday. It was last down 0.2 percent at 89.254.
    * Euro surged on Thursday after European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi said economic data pointed to "solid and
broad" growth with inflation likely to rise in the medium term
from subdued levels.             
    * China's net gold imports via main conduit Hong Kong fell
18.5 percent year-on-year in 2017 and were down 12.2 percent in
December from the previous month, data showed on Thursday.
            
    * Gold could break above $1,500 an ounce this year for the
first time since its 2013 crash, GFMS analysts at Thomson
Reuters said on Thursday, with the risk of a drop in surging
equities and political instability boosting its appeal as a
haven from risk.             
    * Gold bulls are likely to have their patience rewarded in
what is tipped to be the strongest year since 2013 as real
interest rates remain depressed and the U.S. dollar stays under
pressure.             
    * Palladium prices are set for another record year in 2018
and a third next year as tightening emissions standards fuel
demand for the autocatalyst metal, though corrections could be
steep after the metal's recent surge to all-time highs.
            

      DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
     0745  France               Business climate            Jan
     0900  Euro zone            Money supply                Dec
     0930  UK                   Preliminary GDP              Q4
     1330  U.S.                 Durable goods                Dec
     1330  U.S.                 Advance GDP                  Q4

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas
Mohan)
  
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