Gold holds above $1,180 but firmer dollar weighs

Singapore (Apr 1)  Gold steadied on Wednesday after falling for a second straight month in March as renewed bets that the Federal Reserve is on course to lift interest rates this year burnished the dollar's appeal.



    * Spot gold was little changed at $1,184.16 an ounce by 0011 GMT, after ending March with a loss of 2.4 percent.

    * Bullion has dropped 3 percent since touching a three-week high last week, as the dollar gained momentum after Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday signalled a rate hike may be likely later this year amid continued improvements in U.S. economic conditions.

    * Yellen's remarks halted a seven-day rally in gold, its longest since 2012, that had been spurred by hopes the Fed would take it slow in raising rates.

    * U.S. gold for April delivery was also nearly flat at $1,184 an ounce.

    * The Fed will have a "strong" case to hike interest rates. In June, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said, dismissing recently weak economic data as transitory and perhaps due to unseasonable weather.

    * U.S. consumer confidence rebounded strongly in March amid

optimism over the labor market while house prices increased in

January, hopeful signs that a recent sharp slowdown in economic

activity was probably a blip.

    * The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New

York-listed SPDR Gold Trust, in March recorded its biggest

monthly outflow since December 2013, data from the fund shows.



    * The euro closed out the worst quarter in its 15-year

history on Tuesday, slammed by monetary policy changes and

worries about Greece, while U.S. stocks retreated a day after

posting big gains.

    * U.S. crude futures edged up on Wednesday, following a more

than 7 percent decline over the past three days, as Iran and

world powers negotiated beyond a Tuesday deadline, raising

uncertainty over a nuclear deal that could add to a global oil


Source: Reuters