June 8, 2017 / 1:14 AM / in a year

PRECIOUS-Gold inches down as market braces for key events

    BENGALURU, June 8 (Reuters) - Gold edged lower early
Thursday after a written testimony by former FBI director James
Comey ahead of his Congressional appearance was seen containing
few fireworks, as investors also braced up for the UK national
elections and a policy meeting of the European Central Bank
later in the day. 
    * Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent, to $1,285.20 per
ounce at 0105 GMT.     
    * U.S. gold futures         for August delivery dipped 0.4
percent to $1,288.1 an ounce. 
    * Comey said on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump
asked him to drop an investigation of former national security
adviser Michael Flynn as part of a probe into Russia's alleged
meddling in the 2016 presidential election.             
    * British Prime Minister Theresa May faces the voters on
Thursday in an election she called to strengthen her hand in
looming Brexit talks, with her personal authority at stake after
a campaign that saw her lead in opinion polls contract.
    * The European Central Bank is likely to keep the money taps
fully open at its meeting on Thursday as inflation remains below
its target despite stronger economic growth in the euro zone.
    * North Korea fired what appeared to be several land-to-ship
missiles off its east coast on Thursday, South Korea's military
said, the latest in a fast-paced series of missile tests defying
world pressure to rein in its weapons programme.
    * U.S. applications to buy a home reached their highest
level in about seven years last week as mortgage rates fell to
their lowest levels since late 2016, the Mortgage Bankers
Association said on Wednesday.             
    * Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)         has substantially
expanded the range of dates that its London gold futures
contract can be traded, as it seeks to beat rival exchanges to
gain a foothold in the city's $5 trillion-a-year bullion
    * Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 1.14 percent to 864.93
tonnes on Wednesday.  
    * China's gold reserves were unchanged at 59.24 million
ounces in May, the country's central bank said on
    *      China Trade data                     May 
    0600   Germany Industrial output            Apr 
    0645   France current account               Apr 
    0645   France Trade data                    Apr 
    0900   Euro zone revised GDP                 Q1 
    1145   European Central Bank announces outcome of policy 
           meeting; followed by ECB President Draghi briefing 
    1230   U.S. weekly jobless claims 

 (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru)
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