Gold holds near six-month peak on weak risk appetite

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BENGALURU (Reuters) – Gold prices inched lower on Wednesday as the dollar firmed but hovered near a six-month high, supported by political instability in the United States and concerns about a global economic slowdown.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold XAU= slipped 0.2 percent to $1,265.46 per ounce as of 0052 GMT. The metal touched $1,270.50 in early trade, its highest level since June 25.

* U.S. gold futures GCv1 were down 0.3 percent at $1,268.10 per ounce.

* The dollar index .DXY, a gauge of its value versus six major peers, was steady at 96.583 in early Asian trade. [USD/]

* U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the partial shutdown of the federal government was going to last until his demand for funds to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is met.

* Trump expressed confidence on Tuesday in Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin amid worries over a weakening economy and a stock market slump, but repeated his criticism of the U.S. Federal Reserve, saying it has raised interest rates too quickly.

* A U.S. court on Monday ordered North Korea to pay $501 million in damages for the torture and death of U.S. college student, a ruling that comes at a sensitive time in U.S.-North Korea diplomatic relations.

* Asian stocks were shaky early on Wednesday after a widespread tumble gripped global markets earlier in the week, with concerns over the state of U.S. politics prompting investors to turn away from risk assets. [MKTS/GLOB]

* China plans to remove import and export tariffs in 2019 on a range of goods, including import taxes on alternative meals used in animal feed, to secure supplies of raw materials amid trade tensions with the United States and boosting outbound cargoes.

* China’s soybean imports from the United States plunged to zero in November, marking the first time since the trade war between the world’s two largest economies started that China, the world’s largest soybean buyer, has imported no U.S. supplies.

* Russia’s VTB Capital, one of the country’s biggest gold traders, reduced gold exports in 2018 due to higher demand from Russia’s central bank and lower demand in China, its commodities head said.

Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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