PRECIOUS-Gold prices inch up ahead of minutes from latest Fed meeting

BENGALURU, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Gold prices firmed early on Wednesday as the dollar weakened slightly, with investors waiting for the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's last meeting in July for clues on the pace of potential interest rate hikes.


* Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,272.47 per ounce by 0048 GMT, after falling for two straight days.

* U.S. gold futures for December delivery fell 0.13 percent to $1,278.00 per ounce.

* The dollar edged lower in early Asian trading on Wednesday, but held most of its gains made after U.S. retail sales data suggested the economy continued to gain momentum in the third quarter.

* North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has delayed a decision on firing missiles towards Guam while he waits to see what the United States does, the North's state media reported on Tuesday as the United States said any dialogue was up to Kim.

* It is perhaps fitting that the biggest annual gathering of central banking's great and good takes place at a fishing retreat: financial markets are angling for the slightest hint on where monetary policy is headed.

* The U.S. economy is on track to expand at a 3.7 percent annualized pace in the third quarter based on the release of the government's July retail sales data, the Atlanta Federal Reserve's GDP Now forecast model showed on Tuesday.

* U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest increase in seven months in July as consumers boosted purchases of motor vehicles and raised discretionary spending, suggesting the economy continued to gain momentum early in the third quarter.

* Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Tuesday he did not share the view of Germany's constitutional court that the European Central Bank may be violating laws on monetary financing with its 2.3 trillion euro asset purchase programme.


0800 Italy Preliminary GDP Q2 0900 Euro zone GDP Flash Estimate Q2 1230 U.S. Housing starts Jul 1230 U.S. Building permits Jul

1800 Minutes of Federal Reserve's July 25-26 meeting

(Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)