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Gold steady as dollar holds near two-month lows

 Gold prices were steady early Monday, as the dollar held close to a two-month low hit in the previous session against a basket of major curriences.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1287.67 an ounce at 0045 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures for December delivery were flat at $1,287.20.

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* The dollar index/ which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was little-changed at 92.806 and hovered near a two-month low of 92.675 hit on Friday.

* U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Senate Republicans this week to discuss their party’s efforts to pass tax reform legislation, the chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee said on Friday.

* Market players are looking to the Congressional hearing on Fed Chair nominee Jerome Powell on Tuesday.

* With the U.S. stock market at a record high and daily stock gyrations near multi-decade lows, some investors have raised concerns about the lack of fear in the market, but U.S. equity options market data suggests investors are far from complacent.

* Businesses are heading into 2018 in a pretty optimistic mood, surveys will more than likely show in the coming week, pointing to a potential boost for already solid growth in the world’s biggest economies.

* The European Union handed Prime Minister Theresa May a 10-day “absolute deadline” to improve her Brexit divorce offer or face failure in persuading EU leaders to open trade talks with Britain at a December summit.

* German business confidence hit a record high in November, putting Europe’s largest economy on track for a boom, the Ifo economic institute said on Friday, allaying some concerns about political instability over forming a new government.

* Leaders of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party agreed on Sunday to pursue a “grand coalition” with the Social Democrats (SPD) to break the political deadlock in Europe’s biggest economy.

* Bank of Japan board member Hitoshi Suzuki said there is room to debate a fine-tuning of the central bank’s yield curve control (YCC) policy, the Mainichi paper reported, signaling the chance it may raise interest rates before inflation hits its target.

* The buying of physical gold remained muted across major Asian centres last week as higher prices dented demand, though seasonal demand could boost activity in top consumer China next month.

* Russia is increasing the share of gold in its state reserves to beef up national security, Central Bank First Deputy Governor Sergei Shvetsov said on Friday.