PRECIOUS-Gold steady around 7-wk high on N. Korean tensions | Metals & Mining

    BENGALURU, July 31 (Reuters) - Gold prices held around a
near seven-week high on Monday as tensions on the Korean
peninsula boosted safe-haven demand for the yellow metal, while
the dollar hovered around multi-month lows on weak U.S. economic
data.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        hit its highest since June 14 at
$1,270.98 in early trade and was at $1,269.70 per ounce at 0055
GMT, little changed from Friday. Gold gained about 1.1 percent
last week for a third consecutive weekly gain.
    * U.S. gold futures         for August delivery rose 0.1
percent to $1,269.8 per ounce.
    * The United States flew two supersonic B-1B bombers over
the Korean peninsula in a show of force on Sunday and the U.S.
ambassador to the United Nations said China, Japan and South
Korea needed to do more after Pyongyang's latest missile tests.
            
    * North Korea fired a missile on Friday that experts said
was capable of hitting Los Angeles and other U.S. cities and the
United States and South Korea responded by staging a joint
missile exercise.             
    * The U.S. economy accelerated in the second quarter as
consumers ramped up spending and businesses invested more on
equipment, but persistent sluggish wage gains cast a dark shadow
over the growth outlook.             
    * China's gold output fell by 9.85 percent from a year ago
to 206.542 tonnes in the first half of 2017, state media said on
Friday, citing data from the China Gold Association.
            
    * Gold prices in India last week recorded the biggest
discount in seven months as a rebound in prices curtailed retail
demand, while lower premiums in other Asian centres failed to
lure customers amid seasonal slowdown.         
    * Hedge funds and money managers sharply increased their net
long position in COMEX gold to a four-week high, in the week to
July 25, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data
showed on Friday.             
    * The Federal Reserve's $4.5 trillion balance sheet is not
doing a lot to boost the U.S. economy at this time and trimming
it gradually is the right thing to do, Minneapolis Fed President
Neel Kashkari said on Friday.             
    
    DATA AHEAD
    0500  Japan    Constructions orders        Yearly
    0500  Japan    Housing starts              Yearly
    0600  Germany  Retail sales real           Monthly
    0600  Germany  Retail sales real           Yearly
    0830  U.K.     BOE Consumer credit         June
    0830  U.K.     Mortgage lending            June
    0830  U.K.     Mortgage approvals          June
    0900  Eurozone Inflation                   July
    0900  Eurozone Unemployment rate           June
    1345  U.S.     Chicago PMI                 June  
    1400  U.S.     Pending home sales index    June
    1400  U.S.     Pending sales change        June
    1430  U.S.     Dallas Fed mfg bus index    July

 (Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
Pullin)
  

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