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| 18 December, 2017

PRECIOUS-Gold prices edge down amid firmer dollar, equities

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,254.16 an ounce

Gold bars are seen at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. 
Image used for illustrative purpose.

Gold bars are seen at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Gold prices inched down early on Monday, pressured by firmer equities and a buoyant dollar after a bill to overhaul the tax system in the United States moved a step closer to ratification.   
FUNDAMENTALS   

* Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,254.16 an ounce at 0059 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,257 an ounce.

* The dollar held modest gains against the euro and yen on Monday, having received a lift after U.S. tax reform efforts moved another step closer to ratification over the weekend.     

* Top U.S. Republicans said on Sunday they expected Congress to pass a tax code overhaul this week, with a Senate vote as early as Tuesday and President Donald Trump aiming to sign the bill by week's end.            

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* Asian shares inched up on Monday, tracking Wall Street, which hit record highs on expectations U.S. lawmakers will pass a long-awaited tax bill.           

* The United Nations Security Council is due to vote on Monday on a draft resolution calling for the withdrawal of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, diplomats said, a move likely to face a Washington veto.            

* The United States provided intelligence to Russia that helped thwart a potentially deadly bomb attack in St. Petersburg, U.S. and Russian officials said on Sunday, in a rare public show of cooperation despite deep strains between the two countries.            

* U.S. industrial production rose less than expected in November as a drop in utilities output offset a post-hurricane rebound in the oil and gas industries and the third consecutive monthly advance for manufacturing, the Federal Reserve said on Friday.            

* The European Union agreed on Friday to move Brexit talks onto trade and a transition pact but some leaders cautioned that the final year of divorce negotiations before Britain's exit could be fraught with peril.            

* The Russian central bank delivered a sharper-than-expected rate cut on Friday, a move that could help give consumers a feel-good factor months before the March presidential election which incumbent Vladimir Putin is expected to win.               


DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

0130  China     House prices                                  Nov

1500  U.S.       NAHB housing market index        Dec   

(Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)

© Reuters News 2017