March 2, 2018 / 1:51 AM / 16 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices flat as dollar dips on Trump's tariff decision

    March 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices held little changed near
two-month lows on Friday, as the dollar eased after U.S.
President Donald Trump announced plans to impose heavy tariffs
on imported steel and aluminum.
    * Spot gold        was flat at $1,316.13 an ounce at 0124
GMT. Prices fell to their lowest since Jan. 2 to $1,302.61 in
the previous session, under pressure from expectations of U.S.
interest rate hikes.
    * U.S. gold futures         were up 0.9 percent at $1,317.1
per ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of major currencies, was down 0.1 percent at
    * The index shed 0.4 percent overnight after Trump announced
plans to impose hefty tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to
protect U.S. producers, sparking fears of an imminent trade war.
    * Trump said the duties of 25 percent on steel and 10
percent on aluminum would be formally announced next week
although White House officials later said some details still
needed to be ironed out.             
    * Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday
the U.S. economy does not appear to be running hot, even as the
influential head of the New York Fed suggested a faster pace of
interest rate increases may still be in the offing for 2018.
    * Traders of U.S. short-term interest-rate futures on
Thursday pared bets the Fed will deliver a fourth rate hike this
year after the U.S. President said he would impose tariffs on
steel and aluminum.             
    * International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine
Lagarde said she saw positive and negative effects from a
"complicated" U.S. tax overhaul, including a near-term growth
bump that risks overheating the U.S. economy and a problematic
rise in debt.             
    * The Perth Mint's sales of gold and silver products fell in
February for the first time in three months, the mint said in a
blog post on its website on Thursday.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.35 percent to
833.98 tonnes on Thursday from 831.03 tonnes on Wednesday.
    * Physical gold demand in most Asian hubs gained ground this
week due to a fall in prices and as activity picked up following
regional holidays, although a good portion of consumers in India
held off purchases, hoping for a steeper dip in rates.

    0700  Germany              Import prices            Jan
    0700  Germany              Retail sales             Jan
    1000  Euro zone            Producer prices          Jan
    1345  U.S.                 ISM-New York index       Feb

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by Richard
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