Gold prices fall as dollar strengthens against yen

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Gold slipped on Monday as the dollar strengthened against the yen, with the greenback buoyed by a smooth meeting between US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that saw no mention of currency policy.
* Spot gold had fallen 0.37 per cent to $1,229.45 per ounce by 0020 GMT. US gold futures were down 0.41 per cent, to $1,230.7.
* The dollar index was up 0.20 per cent. The dollar gained against the yen early on Monday, with the market breathing a sigh of relief as the closely watched two-day US-Japan summit over the weekend was seen to have ended smoothly.
* A senior Japanese government spokesman said Abe and Trump did not discuss currency issues and that Trump did not request a bilateral trade deal.
* At a joint news conference with Abe, Trump avoided repeating harsh campaign rhetoric that accused Japan of taking advantage of US security aid and stealing American jobs.
* Comments from Trump on Thursday that he plans to announce an ambitious tax reform plan in the next few weeks rekindled hopes for big tax cuts, offering broad support for the greenback.
* US economic data has stoked talk that the Federal Reserve would press ahead with US interest rate hikes sooner rather than later. US import prices rose more than expected in January, while initial jobless claims dropped unexpectedly last week to the lowest in nearly 43 years.
* Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer BSE 4.92 % said there was significant uncertainty about US fiscal policy under the Trump administration, but the Fed would be strict in meeting targets of creating full employment and getting inflation to 2 per cent.
* US consumer sentiment eased off a 13-year high in early February likely as some of the jubilation over Donald Trump’s election victory ebbed, but it remained strong enough to suggest that consumers will continue to drive the economy.
* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.50 per cent to 836.73 tons on Friday from 832.58 tons on Thursday.
* Asian gold demand was mixed this week with Indian jewelers stocking up for the wedding season while rising prices kept buyers on the sidelines elsewhere.
* Hedge funds and money managers raised their bullish wagers in COMEX gold to the highest in two months in the week to Feb. 7, and raised it slightly in silver, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.
* Japan’s economy expanded for a fourth straight quarter in the October-December period as strong trade demand and a pickup in capital expenditure underscored a steady export-led recovery.
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