May 11, 2018 / 1:22 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady as dollar hovers below 2018 peak

    BENGALURU, May 11 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady in
early trade on Friday, as the dollar held below its 2018 highs
against a basket of currencies after softer-than-expected U.S.
inflation data.   
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        was steady at $1,321.93 per ounce at 0100
GMT, after rising to the highest since end-April at $1,322.76 in
the previous session.
    * U.S. gold futures         for June delivery were nearly
unchanged at $1,322.10 per ounce.
    * The dollar index        hovered below a four-and-a-half
month high of 93.416 hit earlier this week, after U.S. consumer
prices rose less than expected in April, prompting traders to
pare bets that higher inflation would lead to faster U.S. rate
hikes.             
    * U.S. interest rates futures rose on Thursday even as a
smaller-than-expected increase in the U.S. consumer price index
in April did not alter traders' expectations the Federal Reserve
will mostly likely raise key borrowing costs in June.
            
    * The Bank of England held interest rates steady on Thursday
and said it wanted to be sure the economy was recovering from a
slow start to the year before it raised borrowing costs again.
            
    * Interest rates are unlikely to move dramatically in the
coming years, European Central Bank Governing Council member
Philip Lane said on Thursday.             
    * Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the central
bank could debate conditions for exiting from ultra-easy policy
if prospects for achieving its inflation target improve,
reminding markets his radical stimulus programme won't last
forever.             
    * U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he had high
hopes of "doing something very meaningful" to curtail North
Korea's nuclear ambitions at a summit in Singapore next month,
after Pyongyang smoothed the way for talks by freeing three
American prisoners.             
    * Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Thursday that
Trump's decision to quit a multinational nuclear deal would not
affect Tehran's oil exports.             
    * Randgold Resources         reported a 24 percent
quarter-on-quarter fall in profit on Thursday after labour
strikes at its Tongon mine in Ivory Coast hit production and
raised costs.             
        
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)
    1230  U.S.        Import prices                         Apr
    1230  U.S.        Export prices                         Apr
    1400  U.S.   University of Michigan sentiment index     May
    

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju
Dwarakanath)
  
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