Gold prices inch up, but firm dollar limits gains

BENGALURU: Gold prices edged up on Thursday, but hovered close to a six-month low touched in the previous session as a firm US dollar curbed gains.


* Spot gold was up 0.1 per cent at $ 1,269.05 an ounce by 0055 GMT. It touched $ 1,267.40 on Wednesday, its lowest since Dec. 22.

* US gold futures for August delivery were down 0.3 per cent at $ 1,271.30 per ounce.

* The dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, stood at 95.102 after rising to 95.299 overnight, its highest since mid-July 2017.

* The US jobs market does not appear overly tight and the Federal Reserve should continue with a gradual pace of interest rate rises amid a strong economy to balance its employment and inflation goals, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday.

* Concerns about US trade policy are increasing among business officials who are beginning to hold off on hiring and investment decisions given the level of uncertainty, Powell said on Wednesday.

* A developing trade war between the world’s biggest economies is weighing on business confidence and could force central banks to downgrade their outlook, the world’s most powerful policymakers argued on Wednesday.

* It is too early to assess the monetary policy impact of an escalation in trade tariffs between the United States and its partners but there is no reason for optimism, the head of the European Central Bank said on Wednesday.

* The Japanese economy could suffer “quite significant” consequences if a trade war between the United States and China drags on, Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Wednesday.

* The European Union will begin charging import duties of 25 per cent on a range of US products on Friday, in response to U.S tariffs imposed on EU steel and aluminium early this month, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

* North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed measures to bolster “strategic and tactical” cooperation between the two countries in a second meeting on Wednesday, the North’s state media said on Thursday.

* Russia’s gold reserves stood at 62.0 million troy ounces as of the start of June, the central bank said on Wednesday. The value of the bank’s holdings was $ 80.51 billion, it said on its website.