Gold prices held steady on Thursday after falling to 1-1/2 week lows the day before, buoyed by a weaker dollar amid uncertainty over U.S. economic and trade policy under President Donald Trump.

* Spot gold prices were firm at $1,201 per ounce at 0046 GMT. On Wednesday, they hit their lowest since Jan. 13 at $1,192.74.    

* U.S. gold futures rose 0.3 percent, also standing at around $1,201 per ounce.    

* The Dow closed atop the 20,000-mark for the first time overnight, boosted by solid earnings.     

* Asian stocks gained early on Thursday, lead by the Wall Street Rally.     

* However, the currency markets focused more on Trump’s trade protectionism and the negative impact it could have on the dollar.     

* The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.2 percent to 99.846.    

* European Central Bank researchers say monetary policy is working with a longer-than-usual lag in the current economic conditions, although the fundamental nature of inflation has not changed.     

* U.S. loan application activity for home purchases rose last week to its highest since early June even as borrowing costs increased for the first time in four weeks, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data released on Wednesday.

Source: Reuters UK

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