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| 14 March, 2018

PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady on weaker dollar after Tillerson dismissal

Spot gold fell 0.1% to $1,325.19 per ounce

Gold bars are pictured at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna April 16, 2013. 
Image used for illustrative purposes

Gold bars are pictured at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna April 16, 2013. Image used for illustrative purposes

REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Gold prices were largely steady on Wednesday on a weaker dollar following U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's sudden dismissal and after consumer price data pointed towards a path of gradual hikes in U.S. interest rates.

FUNDAMENTALS 

Spot gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,325.19 per ounce at 0124 GMT.   

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U.S. gold futures for April delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1,325.60 per ounce.

Asian shares eased amid fears of rising U.S. protectionism as President Donald Trump fired his Secretary of State, regarded as a moderate in his administration, and eyes hefty tariffs on Chinese imports.           

The dollar wallowed against the yen and other major currencies on Wednesday.      

Trump fired Tillerson on Tuesday after a series of public rifts over policy on North Korea, Russia and Iran, replacing his chief diplomat with loyalist CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

U.S. consumer prices cooled in February amid a decline in gasoline prices and a moderation in the cost of rental accommodation, the latest indication that an anticipated pickup in inflation probably will be only gradual.            

Trump is seeking to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports and will target the technology and telecommunications sectors, two people who had discussed the issue with the Trump administration said on Tuesday.

Trump's import tariffs will do more harm than good to the U.S. economy, say the vast majority of economists polled by Reuters, who also expect the Fed to raise interest rates this year more than previously thought.            

A global regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies created by startups to finance new projects could slow the pace of virtual currency sales as questions mount about their transparency and the risk of scams for investors.            

Investors have moved to pricing in a March 2019 rate rise by the European Central Bank, whose dovish, go-slow message has persuaded markets to wipe out bets on an earlier move.                

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0200  China  Industrial output  Feb

0200  China  Commodities output  Feb

0200  China  Retail sales  Feb

0200  China  Urban investment  Feb

1000  Euro zone  Industrial production  Jan

1230  U.S.  Retail sales  Feb

1400  U.S.  Business inventories  Jan   

(Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru Editing by Joseph Radford)

© Reuters News 2018