June 1, 2017 / 1:20 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds near five-week highs, but potential U.S. rate hike drags

    June 1 (Reuters) - Gold held steady on Thursday after
hitting a five-week high in the previous session on geopolitical
tensions, but expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike
interest rates next month weighed on prices.
    * Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,267.32 per
ounce at 0055 GMT. On Wednesday, it touched a session high of
$1,273.74 an ounce, its strongest since April 25.   
    * U.S. gold futures         fell 0.3 percent to $1,266.50. 
    * The dollar languished near a recent 6-1/2 month low
against a basket of major currencies on Thursday.       
    * The U.S. economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace
from early April through late May, but showed little sign of
breaking out of a recent trend of sluggish inflation, a survey
conducted by the Fed showed on Wednesday.             
    * Federal funds futures implied traders saw an 87 percent
chance the U.S. central bank would increase key overnight
borrowing costs by a quarter point, to 1.00-1.25 percent, at its
June 13-14 policy meeting, according to CME Group's FedWatch
    * Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes fell for a
second straight month in April amid a supply squeeze, but the
housing market recovery remains supported by a strong labour
    * U.S. President Donald Trump sought to insert himself into
congressional investigations on Russia on Wednesday, urging
lawmakers to hear from one of his former advisers, Carter Page,
to counter testimony by directors of the FBI and CIA.
    * Prime Minister Theresa May could lose control of
parliament in Britain's June 8 election, according to a
projection by polling company YouGov, raising the prospect of
political turmoil just as formal Brexit talks begin.
    * A consortium of investors led by China's Fosun
International Ltd           will buy a 10 percent stake in
Russia's top gold producer Polyus           for $887 million,
they said on Wednesday.             
    * The U.S. Mint sold 14,500 ounces of American Eagle gold
coins in May, up 141.7 percent from the previous month,
according to the latest data.                 
    0145  China Caixin manufacturing PMI final               May
    0600  Britain  Nationwide house prices                   May
    0750  France Markit manufacturing PMI                    May
    0755  Germany Markit/BME manufacturing PMI               May
    0800  Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI final           May
    1215  U.S. ADP national employment                       May
    1230  U.S. Weekly jobless claims 
    1400  U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI                         May
    1400  U.S. Construction spending                         Apr

 (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
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