PRECIOUS-Gold edges down on caution over next Fed chair

Monday, October 30 2017

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Gold slipped on Monday as investors remained cautious ahead of the naming of the next U.S. Federal Reserve chair and ahead of a two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, both this week. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold dipped 0.1 percent, to $1,271.70 per ounce at 0104 GMT. * U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.1 percent, to $1,273.0. * President Donald Trump is leaning towards nominating Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to be the next head of the U.S. central bank, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday. Trump will announce his choice for who will lead the Fed this week. * Trump's plan for overhauling the U.S. tax system faced growing opposition from interest groups on Sunday, as Republicans prepared to unveil sweeping legislation that could eliminate some of the most popular tax breaks to help pay for lower taxes. * The investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election will enter a new phase as early as Monday, when the first charges resulting from the probe could be unsealed and a target taken into custody. * The U.S. economy unexpectedly continued to grow at a brisk pace in the third quarter as an increase in inventory investment and a smaller trade deficit offset a hurricane-related slowdown in consumer spending and a decline in construction.

* The dollar hovered near three-month highs against a currency basket on Monday, and Asian shares climbed, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gaining 0.5 percent. * Hundreds of thousands of supporters of a unified Spain filled Barcelona's streets on Sunday in one of the biggest shows of force yet by the so-called silent majority that has watched as regional political leaders push for Catalan independence. * With euro zone growth accelerating, the European Central Bank should reduce emphasis on the support provided by fresh asset purchases as its large balance sheet and low rates now provide the bulk of stimulus, two policymakers said on Friday.

* Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long positions in COMEX gold contracts for the sixth straight week, in the week to Oct 24, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday. * The physical gold market remained quiet in most Asian centres last week despite a drop in prices with India witnessing a lull in fresh purchases as key festival season demand cooled in the world's second biggest consumer. DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 1000 Euro Zone Business Climate Oct (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonali Paul) SEARCH