April 18, 2018 / 1:28 AM / 5 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold slips as dollar steadies on positive U.S. data

    BENGALURU, April 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped early
Wednesday while the dollar held its gains on the back of upbeat
March U.S. housing starts and industrial production figures.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        fell 0.2 percent to $1,344.20 per ounce
at 0107 GMT, while U.S. gold futures         for June delivery
dipped 0.2 percent to $1,347.50 per ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was little changed at 89.556,
after gaining 0.1 percent overnight.       
    * The index touched a three-week low of 89.229 on Tuesday
before pulling back on stronger-than-expected March U.S. housing
starts and steady industrial production figures.       
    * Housing starts rose 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted
annual rate of 1.319 million units, the Commerce Department said
on Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing
starts rising to a pace of 1.262 million units last month.
            
    * In a separate report on Tuesday, the Federal Reserve said
industrial production rose 0.5 percent in March after jumping
1.0 percent in February.
    * San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams
on Tuesday said he expects U.S. inflation to rise to the U.S.
central bank's 2-percent goal this year and stay at or above
that goal for "another couple of years," even as the Fed
continues to raise interest rates.             
    * President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States
was engaged in direct talks at "extremely high levels" with
North Korea to try to set up a summit between him and its
leader, Kim Jong Un.             
    * Syria's U.N. ambassador said a United Nations security
team traveled to the Syrian town of Douma ahead of a planned
visit by global chemical weapons experts on Wednesday to look
into a suspected poison gas attack that sparked a U.S.-led
retaliatory strike.             
    * The International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday that
rising U.S.-China trade restrictions threaten to damage a steady
global growth picture, but there was still time for the world's
two largest economies to step back from the brink.              
    * Polyus           said on Tuesday that the inclusion on a
U.S. sanctions list of a member of the family that controls
Russia's biggest gold producer would not lead to changes in the
way the company conducted its business.             

    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    0130  China     House prices        Mar
    1800  Federal Reserve issues Beige Book on economic
          condition

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru)
  
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