Gold prices steady on softer dollar ahead of Fed minutes

Gold prices were little changed early on Thursday, after hitting a one-week high in the previous session, as the dollar eased and the markets awaited minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s June policy meeting later in day.

Spot gold held steady at $1,256.02 an ounce as of 0047 GMT. The metal touched a one-week high at $1,261.10 in the prior session and gained over $20 from Tuesday’s low of $1,237.32 an ounce, which was its weakest since December 12.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.3 percent at $1,257.20 an ounce.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was 0.1 percent lower at 94.565.

Investors are awaiting the outcome of a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting to be announced at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT).

Chinese tariffs on $34 billion of U.S. goods will take effect from midnight July 6 Beijing time, a person with knowledge of the plan told Reuters, amid worsening trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

China will “absolutely not” fire the first shot in a trade war with the United States and will not be the first to levy tariffs, its finance ministry said on Wednesday.

Trade barriers being erected by major economies could jeopardize the global economic recovery and their effects are already starting to show, the World Trade Organization said on Wednesday in a report on trade restrictions among G20 nations.

The United States appears to have shelved an “all or nothing” approach to North Korean denuclearization as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepares to head back to North Korea this week hoping to agree a roadmap for its nuclear disarmament.

Iran could reduce its co-operation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog, President Hassan Rouhani told the body’s head on Wednesday, after he warned U.S. President Donald Trump of “consequences” of fresh sanctions against Iranian oil sales.

Bank of Japan board member Yutaka Harada warned on Wednesday that raising interest rates quickly would severely damage financial institutions, underscoring market views that the central bank would go slow in exiting crisis-mode stimulus.

Euro zone business growth accelerated in June, offering encouragement to the European Central Bank to tighten policy, but optimism among purchasing managers was at its lowest ebb since late 2016, a survey found.

Source: Reuters