×

PRECIOUS-Gold steady, buoyed by geopolitical worries

BENGALURU, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Gold was mostly steady early on Friday amid weaker Asian stocks, with some investors gravitating towards safe-haven assets on political uncertainty in the United States and after a van mowed through crowds in Barcelona, killing at least 13 people.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,286.60 per ounce by 0113 GMT, after climbing for two straight days.

* U.S. gold futures for December delivery were flat at $1,292.60 per ounce.

* Asian stock investors joined a global retreat from riskier assets on Friday and the dollar wavered on growing doubts about U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to fulfil his economic agenda.

* A manhunt was underway for the driver of a van that mowed through crowds of tourists on Barcelona's most famous avenue on Thursday, killing at least 13 people in an attack that was claimed by Islamic State.

* Financial markets are warning of weakness in the U.S. economy, so the Federal Reserve should be "very patient and judicious" as it considers whether to raise interest rates, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said on Thursday.

* Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said on Thursday that the Fed would take into consideration the state of government efforts to raise the federal debt limit in deciding when to start winding down the central bank's large bond portfolio.

* The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to near a six-month low last week, pointing to a further tightening in the labour market that could encourage the Federal Reserve to lay out a plan to start unwinding its massive bond portfolio.

* European Central Bank policymakers worried about a possible overshoot in the euro when they met on July 20, warning that easy financing conditions "could not be taken for granted" and depended on the ECB's easy policy, minutes of the meeting showed on Thursday.

* Euro zone government bond yields fell across the board on Thursday after published remarks from policymakers in both Europe and the United States suggested they were cautious about withdrawing monetary stimulus too quickly.

* The United States and South Korea will go ahead with joint military drills next week, the top U.S. military official said on Thursday, resisting pressure from North Korea and its ally China to halt the contentious exercises.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0130 China House prices Jul 0600 Germany Producer prices Jul 0800 Euro zone Current account Jun 1400 U.S. Univ of Michigan sentiment index Aug

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