PRECIOUS-Gold edges lower after Yellen rate hike hint

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 15, 2017 06:40 hrs

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower on Wednesday on an uptick in the dollar after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen hinted at a hike in interest rates in an upcoming meeting of the central bank. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold fell 0.24 percent, to $1,225.20 per ounce at 0046 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.11 percent, to $1,226.7. * The Federal Reserve will likely need to raise interest rates at an upcoming meeting, Yellen said on Tuesday, although she flagged considerable uncertainty over economic policy under the U.S. President Donald Trump's administration. * The dollar index was up 0.06 percent at 101.31, near the 3-1/2-week high of 101.38 hit on Tuesday following Yellen's remarks. * Yellen, in response to a warning from a U.S. congressman to halt global regulatory talks in the early stages of Trump's presidency, said in a letter the Fed has the authority and responsibility to consult with its foreign counterparts and does so to benefit the United States. * Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded-fund (ETF), New York's SPDR Gold Trust GLD, rose 0.50 percent on Monday from Friday. * The world's largest physically-backed gold fund said on Wednesday it has been certified as sharia compliant, the latest effort aimed at spurring demand for bullion from investors across majority-Muslim countries. * Soros Fund Management LLC got out of gold in the fourth quarter of 2016 while Paulson & Co reduced its stake in SPDR Gold Trust GLD.P, as bullion prices saw their weakest quarterly performance in 3-1/2 years, regulatory filings showed on Tuesday. * U.S. producer prices recorded their largest gain in more than four years in January amid increases in the cost of energy products, but a strong dollar continued to keep underlying inflation at the factory gate tame. * Optimism about the strength of the euro zone economy took a hit on Tuesday as data showed lower-than-expected growth, possibly caused by weaker global trade as protectionist calls grow louder. DATA AHEAD GMT 1000 Euro zone Eurostat trade Dec 1330 U.S. Consumer prices Jan 1330 U.S. New York Fed manufacturing Feb 1330 U.S. Retail sales Jan 1415 U.S. Industrial production Jan 1500 U.S. Business inventories Dec 1500 U.S. NAHB housing market index Feb 1500 Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen delivers semiannual monetary testimony before the House Financial Services Committee (Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry)

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