February 23, 2018 / 1:40 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices inch down on firmer dollar

    Feb 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on Friday on a
stronger dollar and the yellow metal was on track for its
sharpest weekly drop in 2-1/2 months. 
    * Spot gold        was down 0.2 percent at $1,329.16 an
ounce at 0127 GMT. Prices gained 0.6 percent in the previous
session, in their biggest one-day percentage rise since Feb. 14.
    * The precious metal was on track for its biggest weekly
fall since the week ended Dec. 8, 2017.
    * U.S. gold futures         were down 0.2 percent at
$1,330.9 per ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was up 0.1 percent at 89.809.
    * The index had reached a 10-day high of 90.235 on Thursday,
from a three-year low of 88.253 late last week, before its rally
ran out of steam. It was on still on track to gain 0.8 percent
on the week.       
    * Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan said
on Thursday that three U.S. interest-rate increases in 2018 is
"appropriate" but that stronger-than-expected economic data
could change that.             
    * U.S. Treasuries pared price gains on Thursday after the
U.S. government sold new seven-year notes to slightly soft
demand, the final sale of $258 billion in debt this week.
    * The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
fell to a near 45-year low last week, pointing to strong job
growth in February and solid momentum in the economy.
    * The European Union has been urged by its presidency to
ease proposed new regulations on foreign banks within the block
to bring them in line with U.S. requirements, EU documents
showed on Thursday.             
    * Japan's core consumer inflation was steady in January from
a year earlier in a sign a strengthening economy has yet to
prompt companies to raise prices, a challenge policy makers have
yet to overcome despite years of massive stimulus.             
    * European Central Bank policymakers meeting last month
rejected even a token change in the bank's policy message,
arguing that it was premature to signal policy normalisation
given weak inflation, the minutes of the meeting showed on
    * Euro zone government bond yields dipped on Thursday after
a survey showed German business confidence fell in February,
offsetting an earlier rise in yields after the minutes of the
last Federal Reserve meeting revived fears of inflation.
    * Barrick Gold          on Thursday predicted lower gold
production over the next decade, risking its rank as the world's
biggest bullion producer, but executives insisted they will not
make acquisitions simply to sate a call for growth.             

    0700  Germany             Detailed GDP              Q4
    1000  Euro zone           Inflation final           Jan

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
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