PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady despite Manchester blast, US political woes support


May 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady on Tuesday despite a blast at a concert in the English city of Manchester that left at least 19 people dead in what British police said was being treated as a terrorist incident. The metal has been supported as the dollar weakened against the euro amid political tensions in the U.S. due to the ongoing controversies involving President Donald Trump.


* Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,261.62 per ounce by 0100 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,261 an ounce.

* At least 19 people were killed in a blast at a concert in the English city of Manchester on Monday where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing and two U.S. officials said a suicide bomber was suspected in the explosion.

* Safe-haven demand for gold often increases at times of geopolitical uncertainty.

* Spot gold advanced by 2.2 percent last week as the furore over Trump's alleged links to Russia and his firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey raised concerns about his ability to push through promised fiscal stimulus.

* The euro hovered near a six-month high against the dollar on Tuesday after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the currency was "too weak."

* With good progress toward the Federal Reserve's twin goals of stable prices and full employment, the U.S. central bank ought to keep raising interest rates and begin trimming its giant balance sheet before year's end, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said on Monday.

* U.S. Fed Board Governor Lael Brainard on Monday said that it is still a "question" for her if the U.S. economy is at full employment or if there is still more slack left in the labor market.

* The Chicago Fed said on Monday its gauge of U.S. economic activity strengthened in April to its highest level since late 2014, suggesting an acceleration in production and hiring activity following an anemic first quarter.

* Euro zone countries improved their fiscal stance, a sign of growing financial stability, the EU Commission said on Monday, but it called on France to take new action to comply with EU deficit limits and warned Italy faced "urgent" challenges.

* Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.21 percent to 852.48 tonnes on Monday.


0600 Germany Detailed GDP Q1 0645 France Business climate May 0700 France Markit manufacturing PMI flash May 0730 Germany Markit manufacturing PMI flash May 0800 Germany Ifo business climate May 0800 Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI flash May 1345 U.S. Markit manufacturing PMI flash May 1400 U.S. New home sales Apr

(Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru)