Dec 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices held firm on Friday, havingclimbed to a near six-month high in the previous session, asinvestors shunned risky assets and the dollar lingered nearone-month lows.
* U.S. gold futures GCv1 declined 0.3 percent to $1,263.7per ounce.
* The dollar fell to a more than three-month low against theyen on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve signalled fewerinterest rate hikes over the next two years and expressedcaution about the U.S. economic outlook. USD/
* The dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenbackagainst a basket of six major currencies, was near a one-monthlow against its peers.
* U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesdaysignalled more interest rate hikes over the next couple ofyears, but traders of U.S. interest rate futures are not buyingit. In fact, they now expect a rate cut in 2020.
* Global stocks were sailing into Christmas on a sea of redas the threat of a U.S. government shutdown and of further hikesin U.S. borrowing costs inflamed investor unease over theeconomic outlook. MKTS/GLOB
* The number of Americans filing applications for joblessbenefits rose marginally from near a 49-year low last week,suggesting underlying strength in the labour market and broadereconomy.
* The gap between two- and 10-year yields US2US10=TWEB shrank to just 9 basis points at one stage, the kind offlattening that has heralded recessions in the past. US/
* U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said bordersecurity must be part of legislation to fund the U.S.government, a position that raises the threat of a partialfederal shutdown on Saturday.
* The Bank of England said on Thursday that Brexituncertainty had "intensified considerably" over the last month,and trimmed their forecast for quarterly economic growth in thelast three months of 2018.
* SPDR Gold TrustGLD , the world's largest gold-backedexchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.34 percent to769.14 tonnes on Thursday.
* In a sign of demand for precious metals, sales of U.S.Mint American Eagle gold and silver coins are closing out theirweakest year since 2007, as investors favoured higher-yieldingassets, despite volatility in global stock and bond markets latein the year.
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