Gold holds on to gains as steady as equities wobble

Gold prices held steady early on Thursday after breaking a five-day losing streak in the previous session, with uncertain equity markets shoring up the metal's safe-haven appeal.


* Spot gold was little changed at $1,323.26 an ounce by 0103 GMT.

* US gold futures were steady at $1,326.70 an ounce.

* US import prices fell for the first time in six months in August on weak petroleum and food costs, but the declining trend is slowing as oil prices stabilize and the dollar's rally fades.

* The Bank of England is expected to say on Thursday that it will still probably cut interest rates to a fraction above zero later this year, despite signs it overestimated the initial shock to Britain's economy from June's Brexit vote.

* Japanese manufacturers' confidence bounced from a three-year low, while sentiment in the services sector hit its lowest since 2013 when the central bank began bold monetary stimulus, a Reuters poll showed, underscoring a fragile economic recovery.

* CME Group is launching the first-ever precious metals spread and ratio futures contracts, said Miguel Vias, CME Group's head of precious metals.


* Asian stocks wavered on Thursday as investors grappled with the seemingly diminishing ability of major central banks to stimulate growth, while a tumble in crude oil inflamed already heightened risk aversion.

* The US Treasury yield curve hit its steepest in more than two months on Wednesday, while world stock markets edged lower as investors fretted about future US interest rate hikes.

* Oil prices fell about 3 percent for a second straight day on Wednesday, after data showing large weekly builds in US petroleum products offset a surprise draw in crude stockpiles.