Gold holds near 8-week high as Trump policy concerns hit dollar

Gold prices on Wednesday held near eight-week highs hit in the previous session on uncertainty over US president-elect Donald Trump’s economic plans, after the dollar slid on his comments that the strong greenback was “killing us”
* Spot gold was firm at $1,216 per ounce by 0110 GMT. Bullion hit an eight-week high of $1,218.64 in the previous session.
* US gold futures were up 0.3 per cent at $1,216.10 per ounce.
* Britain will quit the EU single market when it leaves the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday in a decisive speech that set a course for a clean break with the world’s largest trading bloc.
* In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Trump said the strength of the US dollar against China’s yuan “is killing us”.

* San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams on Tuesday called for gradual US interest-rate hikes over the next few years to keep the economy from overheating and ultimately falling into recession.
* Fed Chair Janet Yellen will have an opportunity to lay out her thinking with speeches on monetary policy on both Wednesday and Thursday this week.
* Fed Governor Lael Brainard, a leading Federal Reserve proponent of low interest rates, said on Tuesday the US central bank might hike rates more aggressively if deficit spending under the Trump administration produced a quick economic boost.
* The United Nations expects global economic growth to rise to 2.7 per cent this year and 2.9 per cent in 2018, and said Brexit and US President-elect Donald Trump’s tax policies could have adverse effects.

* Canadian gold miner Goldcorp Inc detailed an ambitious growth plan on Tuesday that includes increasing production and yet-to-be-mined reserves by 20 per cent over the next five years from existing operations and deposits, lifting its shares.
* Striking workers at Yamana Gold Inc’s El Penon mine in Chile have reached a wage agreement with the Canadian miner, allowing the mine to reopen on Wednesday, a union leader said on Tuesday.

* Ghana’s gold output fell 7 per cent in the first nine months of 2016 to 1.9 million ounces compared with the same period the previous year, data from the Ghana Chamber of Mines showed on Tuesday.
* India’s rough diamond imports fell 4.7 per cent in December from a year ago to $1.398 billion, a trade body said on Tuesday, as the scrapping of high value currency notes forced many small polishing units to idle their units.
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