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Gold edges higher on softer dollar; focus on Jackson Hole conference

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BENGALURU - Gold prices inched up on Wednesday as the dollar slipped after remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump raised fears of a government shutdown, while investors awaited further direction from a key annual central banking conference this week.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent to $1,285.30 an ounce by 0555 GMT, after shedding 0.5 percent in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery were unchanged at $1,290.90 per ounce.

The dollar edged down against the yen following President Trump's remarks.

"If we have to close down the government, we are building that wall," Trump told supporters at a rally in Arizona.

Elsewhere, markets were bracing for an annual gathering of central bankers at a meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Thursday and Friday, where Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi are set to deliver speeches on the outlook for monetary policy and interest rates.

"Most of the people are now looking for hints from the Jackson Hole meeting between the central bankers," said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung Financial Group.

"The most important thing is economic fundamentals...central banks are going to have tightening measures in monetary policies to have normalisation. So I don't have much higher upward momentum for prices," To said.

Draghi is also due to give a speech in Germany later in the day.

Higher interest rates could boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold prices by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

"We could see gold possibly move higher...in light of concern that inflation data is running very much on the softer side of estimates," said INTL FCStone analyst, Edward Meir.

Spot gold may break a support at $1,282 per ounce and fall into a support zone of $1,270-$1,276, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

"On the other hand what has been supporting gold for the last six months or so is the risk aversion," Wing Fung's To said, referring to the uncertainty around the Trump administration in the U.S. in particular.

The United States on Tuesday imposed new North Korea-related sanctions, targeting Chinese and Russian firms and individuals for supporting Pyongyang's weapons programmes, but stopped short of an anticipated focus on Chinese banks.

Among other precious metals, silver slipped 0.2 percent to $16.94 an ounce, while platinum was nearly unchanged at $974.85.

Palladium lost 0.8 percent to $925.25 after touching an over 16-year high at $940 on Tuesday.

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Muslim Global: Gold edges higher on softer dollar; focus on Jackson Hole conference
Gold edges higher on softer dollar; focus on Jackson Hole conference
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