November 7, 2018 / 1:37 AM / 6 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold gains on weaker dollar; U.S. election in focus

BENGALURU, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Wednesday amid a weaker dollar, with investors waiting for the outcome of U.S. midterm elections that could see Republicans lose their grip on Congress.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,228.40 per ounce at 0118 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures climbed 0.3 percent to $1,229.7 per ounce.

* The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down about 0.3 percent, as traders awaited the U.S. election results for implications on Washington's broader economic and political agenda.

* Wall Street stock futures ticked down slightly while Asian shares held very tight ranges early on Wednesday.

* The Democrats are favoured by election forecasters to pick up the 23 seats they need to gain a majority in the House, but opinion polls show they have slimmer hopes of picking up the two seats they need to gain control of the Senate.

* The U.S. Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee will start its two-day meeting on interest rates on Wednesday. Fed policymakers are not expected to raise key rates, but traders are waiting to see whether they offer clues about possible rate increases in December and in 2019.

* The United States and China will hold a delayed top-level security dialogue on Friday, the latest sign of a thaw in relations, as China's vice president said Beijing was willing to talk with Washington to resolve their bitter trade dispute.

* The European Commission could impose sanctions on Italy as a last resort if they cannot reach an agreement over Rome's rule-breaking budget, but Brussels wants to avoid that option, the EU's economics commissioner said on Tuesday.

* Euro zone business growth slumped to a two-year low in October as growing trade tensions and tariffs, alongside rising political uncertainty, put a dent in exports and optimism, a survey showed on Tuesday.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.08 percent to 756.70 tonnes on Tuesday from 757.29 tonnes on Monday.

* Gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) registered increased inflows to both North American and European funds during October, as tumultuous equity markets triggered flight-to-quality buying, the World Gold Council said on Tuesday.

* China's gold output in the first three quarters of 2018 fell 7.46 percent from a year earlier to 289.75 tonnes, the China Gold Association said on Tuesday.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0700 Germany Industrial output Sept

0900 Italy Retail sales Sept

1000 Euro zone Retail sales Sept

U.S. Federal Reserve starts two-day policy meeting (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru Editing by Joseph Radford)

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