December 19, 2018 / 1:53 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold pulls back from 5-month top, investors await Fed outlook

Dec 19 (Reuters) - Gold scaled a more than five-month peak early Wednesday before erasing all the gains to trade steady as investors awaited the conclusion of a two-day policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve for clues on the pace of monetary tightening next year.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was steady at $1,249.63 per ounce, as of 0116 GMT, having touched a peak since July 11 at $1,250.92 earlier in the session.

* U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,253.1 per ounce.

* The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.2 percent. It fell to a one-week low in the previous session.

* Asian share markets played second fiddle to bonds as a spectacular fall in the price of oil fanned speculation the Fed might be done with tightening after its policy meeting later in the day.

* U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday further sought to pressure the Fed as the central bank prepared to start its two-day policy meeting, warning the Fed’s board not to “make yet another mistake” ahead of an expected interest rate hike.

* The British government said on Tuesday it would implement plans for a no-deal Brexit in full and begin telling businesses and citizens to prepare for the risk of leaving the European Union without an agreement.

* Italy has done a deal with the European Commission over its contested 2019 budget, a spokeswoman at the Economy Ministry said on Tuesday, signalling an end to weeks of wrangling that had shaken financial markets.

* Investor outlooks have deteriorated to their most pessimistic in a decade, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s December investor survey showed on Tuesday.

* Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Tuesday for the unswerving implementation of reforms on Beijing’s terms, saying no one could boss it around, but offered no new measures in a speech marking 40 years of market liberalisation.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 1.08 percent to 771.79 tonnes on Tuesday from 763.56 tonnes on Monday.

* Nigeria’s first gold refinery is expected to more than triple its capacity within five years after operations begin next June, an executive at the company developing it said on Tuesday. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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