Gold traded in range after U.S. data on GDP, jobless claims and regional business activity left traders - 22 Dec 2017

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Gold traded in range after U.S. data on GDP, jobless claims and regional business activity left traders' views on a stable economy unchanged - Gold traded in range after U.S. data on gross domestic product, jobless claims and regional business activity left traders' views on a stable economy unchanged and the dollar broadly steady. Leading global stock markets rose modestly in the wake of solid U.S. economic growth data and as investors digested the recent passage of a $1.5 trillion tax cut plan in Washington. Republicans in the U.S. Congress on Thursday advanced stopgap legislation to keep the federal government operating past Friday when funding expires, seeking to avert a self-inflicted disaster just before the Christmas holiday Season. The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in more than two years in the third quarter, powered by robust business spending, and is poised for what could be a modest lift next year from sweeping tax cuts passed by Congress this week. The federal tax bill that Congress  approved this week is expected to provide a modest lift to the U.S. economy in 2018 and 2019, as lower taxes should help consumer spending and business spending. The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady and its governor said economic improvements alone would not trigger a withdrawal of stimulus, reassuring markets it will lag well behind its overseas peers in ending crisis-mode easing. 

Crude oil prices settled higher as investors continued to cheer mostly positive EIA inventory data - Crude oil tilted higher rose 0.21% to $58.21 a barrel to the best since December 12, shrugging off the dollar's rebound from December 5 lows for the second session, following an array of data from the US, the world's largest energy consumer. Support also seen after US data showed the final reading of GDP growth with a rate of 3.2% in the third quarter of 2017, missing expectations of 3.3%, and compared to a 3.1% growth rate in the second quarter. While US unemployment claims rose to 245 thousand in the week ending December 16, the first such increase in five weeks, passing expectations of 232K, and jumping far from the previous reading's 225 thousand. Also yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the $1.5 trillion tax bill with a 224-201 majority, after the Senate passed it with a 51-48 margin, sealing the biggest reshaping of the tax system in 30 years. Otherwise, sources in OPEC asserted that they're 
currently working on strategies to exit the global plan to reduce output by 1.8mbpd in case global supplies tighten. 

Copper prices gained on fresh buying as supply concerns seen in the market - Copper on MCX settled up 0.61% at 456.75 on fresh buying as supply concerns seen in the market. While update may be capped today with wage agreements at mines in Chile easing concerns about disruptions to supply from the world's top producer of the metal. From data point yesterday Economic activity in the U.S. unexpectedly grew at a slightly slower than previously estimated rate in the third quarter, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The report said real gross domestic product surged up by 3.2 percent in the third quarter compared to the previously estimated 3.3 percent jump. Economists had expected the pace of growth to be unrevised. Suggesting solid economic growth will continue into the first half of 2018, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing a slightly bigger than increase by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of November. Today we may see pressure building up as Chinese demand growth is expected to be slow but stable into 2018, while the pickup in global activity should support copper demand, National Australia Bank said in a report. Downside risks remain around China's property market outlook, where lower population growth, tighter credit conditions and weaker price growth could see real estate investment growth slow.

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