January 11, 2019 / 1:40 AM / 6 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices inch up as dollar softens on Fed rate outlook

BENGALURU, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Friday as the dollar softened a touch on expectations the U.S. central bank will keep interest rates steady if the economy slows this year, while the Sino-U.S. trade spat also remained in focus.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold had risen 0.2 percent to $1,288.83 per ounce by 0117 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures climbed about 0.2 percent to $1,289.40 per ounce.

* The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against major currencies, was marginally lower in early Asian trade, but was off its near three-month lows posted in the previous session.

* U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday that the central bank had the ability to be patient on monetary policy given stable price measures, and he downplayed predictions from policymakers suggesting interest rates would be raised twice more this year.

* People familiar with the three days of trade talks in Beijing said hopes are mounting that the top Chinese negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, will visit Washington this month to meet with his negotiating counterparts.

* Flanked by border agents who are going without paychecks during a government shutdown, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday to use emergency powers to bypass Congress to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

* British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on lawmakers on Thursday to help his opposition party "break the deadlock" over Brexit and support his call for a motion of no confidence in the government to trigger an election.

* Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.18 percent to 797.71 tonnes on Thursday.

* Newmont Mining Corp, the world's No. 2 gold producer, is cutting 120 jobs at its Carlin mining operation in Nevada after deciding to reduce the life span of one mine and suspending part of another due to a wall slide, a spokesman said on Thursday.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0930 Britain GDP estimate Nov 0930 Britain Industrial Output Nov 0930 Britain Manufacturing Output Nov 0930 Britain Goods Trade Balance Nov 1330 U.S. Consumer prices Dec (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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