PRECIOUS-Gold steady amid subdued dollar after Fed comments, palladium above $1,550

Gold prices were steady on Wednesday as the dollar stood near a three-week low after the Federal Reserve’s chairman reiterated the U.S. central bank would stay patient on further interest rate hikes, while palladium hovered near a record-peak.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold XAU= was flat at $1,328.90 per ounce at 0152 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 were up 0.2 percent at $1,331.20.

* Rising risks and recent soft data shouldn’t prevent solid growth for the U.S. economy this year, but the Fed will remain “patient” in deciding on further interest rate hikes, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday. The dollar was trading near its lowest against major currencies .DXY since early February. USD/

* The pound surged against the greenback after UK Prime Minister Theresa May offered lawmakers the chance to vote in two weeks for a potentially disorderly no-deal Brexit or to delay Britain’s exit from the European Union if her attempt to ratify a divorce agreement fails. Spot palladium XPD= , which scaled a record-peak of $1,565.09 per ounce in the previous session, was flat at $1,560.

* Palladium has climbed about 24 percent this year on widening supply tightness in the market, while threats of strikes by mineworkers in South Africa added support to the autocatalyst metal. Norilsk Nickel GMKN.MM , the world’s largest palladium producer, said tighter emissions regulations in all major markets and flattish primary supply would widen a palladium deficit in 2019. U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet on Wednesday for their second summit, betting that their personal relationship can break a stalemate over the North’s nuclear weapons and end more than 70 years of hostility. In a stinging rebuke to President Trump, the House of Representatives brushed aside veto threats and passed legislation to terminate the emergency he declared at the U.S.-Mexico border in order to build a wall there.

Meanwhile, the White House formally notified Congress that if the measure passes Congress, Trump’s advisers would recommend that he veto it in order to maintain the power he activated on Feb. 15 as a way of circumventing Congress. China’s net gold imports via main conduit Hong Kong doubled in January from the previous month, as banks in the world’s top consumer likely stocked up at the beginning of the year. Uganda’s gold exports jumped 23 percent last year from 2017, for the first time overtaking coffee as the East African country’s top foreign exchange earner, central bank data showed. Indonesia’s disaster agency said on Wednesday that rescuers were searching for survivors after more than 60 people were feared buried by the collapse of an illegal gold mine on the island of Sulawesi. AHEAD (GMT) 1500 Fed’s Powell to testify on U.S. monetary policy and the economy before the House Financial Services Committee

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