October 24, 2019 / 1:34 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady as investors await Brexit clarity, Fed meeting

Oct 24 (Reuters) - Gold held ground above $1,490 per ounce on Thursday as investors awaited clarity on Brexit after the European Union delayed a decision on granting an extension to Britain, and the U.S. central bank policy meeting for clues on the interest rate trajectory.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was unchanged at $1,491.83 per ounce as of 0129 GMT. U.S. gold futures was flat at $1,494.60 per ounce.

* EU member states on Wednesday delayed a decision on whether to grant Britain a three-month Brexit extension, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson said if the deadline is deferred to the end of January he would call an election by Christmas.

* Asian shares pulled ahead on Thursday with corporate earnings buffeting trading as investors remained anxious about the business impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war while Brexit uncertainties kept overall sentiment in check.

* Meanwhile, Federal fund futures imply that traders see a 91.4% chance for a 25 basis point rate cut by the U.S. central bank in its month-end monetary policy meeting.

* The U.S.-China trade war has hit financial markets and forced most major central banks to cut interest rates this year.

* The non-yielding bullion is often seen as a safer investment during times of political and financial uncertainty.

* Inflation in the euro zone languishes at less than half the European Central Bank's target, the economic outlook is darkening again, and support for ECB President Mario Draghi's brand of aggressive money printing has never been lower among rate-setters.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.13% to 918.48 tonnes on Wednesday from 919.66 tonnes on Tuesday.

* Platinum rose 0.5 % to $919.60 per ounce, after scaling a more than three-week high in the previous session.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0815 France Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Oct 0830 Germany Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Oct 0900 EU Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Oct 1145 EU ECB Refinancing Rate Oct 1145 EU ECB Deposit Rate Oct 1230 Germany ECB President Mario Draghi holds a press conference after interest rate meeting. Governing Council of the ECB holds monetary policy meeting. 1230 US Durable goods Sept 1230 US Initial Jobless Claims Weekly 1345 US Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp PMIs Oct 1400 US New Home Sales-Units Sept (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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