Gold prices steady amid rate hike prospects

Gold prices steadied early on Monday, after falling to the lowest in more than a week in the previous session, as expectations of an interest rate hike this month offset support from worries about a trade war.


* Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $ 1,293.06 per ounce by 0111 GMT. It touched the lowest since May 23 at $ 1,289.12 an ounce in the previous session.

* U.S. gold futures for August delivery were down 0.2 percent at $ 1,297.10 per ounce.

* U.S. job growth accelerated in May and the unemployment rate dropped to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent, pointing to rapidly tightening labor market conditions, which could stir concerns about inflation.

* The Federal Reserve should continue to raise rates gradually over the next two years, a U.S. central banker said on Friday, with higher borrowing costs perhaps beginning to act as a brake on growth starting early next year.

* Finance leaders of the closest U.S. allies vented anger over the Trump administration’s metal import tariffs on Saturday, ending a three-day meeting with a stern rebuke of Washington and setting up a heated fight at a G7 summit next week in Quebec.

* China warned the United States on Sunday that any agreements reached on trade and business between the two countries will be void if Washington implements tariffs and other trade measures, as the two ended their latest round of talks in Beijing.

* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 1.25 percent to 836.42 tonnes on Friday from 847.03 tonnes on Thursday.

* Hedge funds and money managers raised their net long position in COMEX gold contracts to the strongest since late April in the week to May 29, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

* Gold demand in most Asian centres remained sluggish last week with prices stuck in a tight range, while an inauspicious period for buying the yellow metal dampened demand in major consumer India.

* U.S. hedge fund Paulson & Co, led by long-time gold bull John Paulson, is set to name a group of investors that will work together to try to drive changes and better returns from gold mining companies after years of dismal industry performance, according to people familiar with the situation.

* Ghana’s gold output rose to 2.805 million ounces in 2017, up 10.2 percent from the previous year, data from the Ghana Chamber of Mines showed on Friday.