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PRECIOUS-Gold prices hold steady as stronger dollar weighs
Published at 11/12/2018 at 01:26

BENGALURU, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady early on Tuesday, supported by hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve could pause its rate hike cycle sooner than previously thought, but a stronger dollar amid Brexit worries weighed on the precious metal.

* Spot gold was steady at $1,244.71 per ounce, as of 0114 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,250.1 per ounce.

* The dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, advanced 0.75 percent on Monday and was back firmly above 97.00.

* British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday postponed a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal to seek more concessions but the European Union refused to renegotiate and lawmakers doubted her chances of winning big changes.

* The Federal Reserve's plans to continue raising interest rates next year were met with more skepticism on Wall Street on Monday, with futures traders betting on a pause and one major bank partially walking back a hawkish prediction.

* U.S. job openings rebounded in October, but hiring continued to lag, suggesting a recent slowdown in job growth was most likely because employers could not find qualified workers.

* The vice president of the European Commission warned the Italian government on Monday there was little time left to change its expansionary 2019 draft budget and avoid EU disciplinary procedure.

* Hedge funds and money managers trimmed their net short positions in Comex gold and silver contracts in the week to Dec. 4, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Monday.

* The Governor of India's central bank, Urjit Patel, resigned abruptly on Monday after a months-long tussle over policy with the government that has raised concerns about the bank's independence as a national election nears.

* India raised gold holdings by 5.6 tonnes to 592.06 tonnes in 2018 October, according to IMF Data.

* Ivory Coast plans to double gold production by 2025, its vice president said on Monday, as the west African country strives to revive its long-neglected mining sector.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

1000 Germany ZEW economic sentiment Dec

1000 Euro zone ZEW survey expectations Dec

1100 U.S. NFIB business optimism Nov

(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru)

((eileen.soreng@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6131; Reuters Messaging: eileen.soreng.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))