February 27, 2018 / 1:30 AM / 24 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices rise for second session on softer dollar

    Feb 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices were up for a second day in a
row on the back of a weaker dollar, while investors awaited U.S.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's first congressional
testimony for clues on the future pace of monetary tightening.
    * Spot gold        was up 0.2 percent at $1,336.05 an ounce
at 0116 GMT. 
    * U.S. gold futures         were up 0.4 percent at $1,337.7
per ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of major currencies, was down 0.1 percent at
    * Powell's testimony could determine whether the greenback's
recovery from a three-year low, that it hit on Feb. 16, can be
    * The prospect of further interest rate increases by the
Fed, more than what the market initially priced in, has
bolstered the dollar in the last few weeks.
    * There are some upside risks to the U.S. economic outlook
but the degree to which it would affect monetary policy depends
on whether the potential capacity of the nation's economy is
also raised, Fed Governor Randal Quarles said on Monday.
    * An era of low productivity growth and high world demand
for safe assets may be anchoring central bank policy rates at a
low level, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Monday.
    * Slack in the euro zone economy may be bigger than
previously estimated and this could slow the rise of inflation
but only temporarily and prices will eventually climb, European
Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Monday.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.21 percent to
831.03 tonnes on Monday from 829.26 tonnes on Friday.
    * Precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater         
arrested nearly 1,400 illegal miners at its South African gold
shafts last year in a blitz the company says has mostly ended
the practice at its mines.             
    * Miners in northwest Papua New Guinea reported some damage
to infrastructure following a powerful magnitude 7.5 earthquake
on the weekend, as projects in the resource-rich region assess
the impact on their operations.             

    0745  France           Consumer confidence              Feb
    0900  Euro zone        Money supply growth              Jan
    1000  Euro zone        Business climate                 Feb
    1300  Germany          Consumer prices                  Feb
    1330  U.S.             Durable goods                    Jan
    1330  U.S.             Advance goods trade balance      Jan
    1400  U.S.             Monthly home price index         Dec
    1400  U.S.             Case-Shiller housing index       Dec
    1500  U.S.             Consumer confidence              Feb
    1500  Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivers 
          semi-annual monetary policy testimony before the House
          Financial Services Committee

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas
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