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Gold prices steady ahead of US payrolls data

Gold was steady on Friday ahead of key U.S. jobs data later in the day, with prices curbed as the U.S. dollar stood firm near a seven-week high.


* Spot gold was little changed at $1,268.52 an ounce at 0049 GMT. It shed 0.5 percent in the previous session.

* U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down 0.2 percent at $1,270.90 per ounce.

* Asian stocks rose on Friday after optimism over U.S. tax reform plans lifted Wall Street shares to new highs, while the dollar hovered near a seven-week peak following additional indications of solid economic growth.

* The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, but the continued impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on the data made it difficult to get a clear picture of the labour market.

* Congressional Republicans moved to hasten an overhaul of the U.S. tax code on Thursday, while Federal Reserve officials warned in rare public remarks that President Donald Trump’s tax plan could lead to inflation and unsustainable federal debt.

* The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Randal Quarles as the Federal Reserve’s top official on regulatory matters, filling a role critical to the Trump Administration’s goal of lightening post-financial crisis regulations.

* The long-term trend in annual U.S. economic growth may be as low as 1.5 percent, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said on Thursday, a sombre view that implies perpetually low interest rates and a difficult hurdle for the Trump administration’s promised economic surge.

* The Federal Reserve will need to raise U.S. interest rates further to keep the economy on track to full employment and the Fed’s 2-percent inflation goal, Kansas City Fed President Esther George said on Thursday.

* European Central Bank policymakers last month debated the trade-off between various options for extending its asset buying, with some arguing that a reduction was warranted in any scenario, accounts of their meeting showed on Thursday.

* The Bank of Japan’s policies are finally nearing a “true dawn”, Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso said on Thursday as he predicted a long-awaited build-up of inflation pressures in an economy long haunted by deflation.