PRECIOUS-Gold steady near highest in over two weeks on weaker dollar

BENGALURU, July 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Wednesday after hitting their highest in over two weeks in the previous session, buoyed as the dollar hovered near ten-month lows.


* Spot gold was up about 0.1 percent at $1,242.86 per ounce at 0047 GMT. In the previous session, it hit its highest since June 30 at $1,244.56.

* U.S. gold futures for August delivery were nearly unchanged at $1,242.30 per ounce.

* The dollar hit its lowest against the euro and Swiss franc in more than a year on Tuesday, with the broader dollar index touching a more than 10-month low, on reduced confidence in U.S. President Donald Trump's agenda and jitters over hawkish central banks abroad.

* Republican efforts to overhaul or repeal Obamacare collapsed in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, dealing a sharp setback to Trump and the Republican Party's seven-year quest to kill former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.

* The U.S. slapped new economic sanctions against Iran on Tuesday over its ballistic missile programme and said Tehran's "malign activities" in the Middle East undercut any "positive contributions" coming from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord.

* Holdings at the SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest

gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.68 percent to 821.45 tonnes on Tuesday from 827.07 tonnes on Monday.

* China is considering a merger between China Minmetals Corp, one of the country's largest miners and metals traders, and China National Gold Group, as Beijing pushes consolidation of its state-run firms, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

* North Korea does not have the ability to strike the United States with "any degree of accuracy" and while its missiles have the range, they lack the necessary guidance capability, the vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Tuesday.

* Russia said on Tuesday that it reserved the right to retaliate against the United States after a meeting in Washington ended without an agreement to return Russian diplomatic property the U.S. had seized.


1100 U.S. Mortgage Market Index Weekly 1230 U.S. Building Permits June

(Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)