PRECIOUS-Gold holds near 7 week high on weak U.S. economic data


Aug 2 - Gold prices held early on Wednesday near a
seven-week high struck in the previous session, as downbeat U.S.
data weakened the prospect of the Federal Reserve pursuring an
aggressive rate hike stance.

    * Spot gold <XAU=> was little changed at $1,268.00 per ounce
at 0109 GMT. It hit $1,273.97 in the previous session, the
highest since June 14.
    * U.S. gold futures <GCcv1> for December delivery fell 0.4
percent to $1,274.10 per ounce.
    * A gauge of U.S. factory activity slid from a near
three-year high in July amid a slowdown in new orders and
consumer spending barely rose in the prior month, setting the
stage for a moderate economic expansion in the third quarter.
    * The U.S. dollar briefly touched a 15-month low on Tuesday
on political turmoil in Washington and weak U.S. economic data
that kept the Federal Reserve's policy outlook uncertain. [USD/]
    * The United States does not seek to topple the North Korean
government and would like dialogue with Pyongyang at some point,
but only on the understanding that it can never be a nuclear
power, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday.
    * President Donald Trump grudgingly accepted new
congressional sanctions on Russia, Tillerson said on Tuesday,
remarks in contrast with those of Vice President Mike Pence, who
said the bill showed Trump and Congress speaking "with a unified
voice." [nL1N1KN1LT]
    * The euro zone economy confirmed a robust expansion in the
second quarter of the year, growing twice as much as Britain for
the second consecutive quarter, preliminary estimates released
by the European Union's statistics agency showed on Tuesday.
    * Venezuela jailed two leading critics of President Nicolas
Maduro on Tuesday in a fresh blow to the opposition after the
election of a new political body with sweeping powers to
strengthen the hand of the leftist government. [nL1N1KN061]
    * Asian stocks paused near decade-highs on Wednesday as
investors waited to see if strong earnings results from tech
bellwether Apple <AAPL.O> would ripple out to component makers
in the region.

      0900  Euro Zone  Producer Prices            June
      1100  U.S.       MBA Mortgage Market index  weekly
      1215  U.S.       ADP National Employment    Jul
      1345  U.S.       ISM-New York Index         Jul

 (Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
 ((;)(within U.S. +1 651
848 5832, outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6325/1298)(; Reuters


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