PRECIOUS-Gold stays put as investors eye Fed meeting

Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:21am IST

SINGAPORE, July 31 (Reuters) - Gold held steady on Tuesday,
as investors cautiously await the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy
meeting later in the day which is expected to shed light on the
bank's stance on monetary stimulus, a key factor driving bullion
prices.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was little changed at $1,621.40 an ounce
by 0034 GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures contract for August delivery 
traded nearly flat at $1,620.70.
    * The focus will be on the Fed's policy meeting to take
place on Tuesday and Wednesday, as investors anxiously wait for
a clear signal from the central bank on whether further monetary
easing will be launched any time soon. 
    * The Fed's counterpart in the euro zone will hold its
policy meeting on Thursday, under pressure from investor
expectations of immediate action after its chief, Mario Draghi,
vowed last week to do anything within the bank's mandate to
preserve the single currency. 
    * Economic sentiment in the euro zone fell to near a 3-year
low in July as the bloc's economy deepened its slump and
businesses became more pessimistic. 
    * Italy's 10-year funding costs fell below 6 percent for the
first time since April at an auction on Monday as expectations
that the European Central Bank may ride to the rescue of
vulnerable euro zone members spurred demand for their debt.
 
    * The correlation between the dollar and gold stood at
-0.74, suggesting the strongest inverse correlation since
beginning of the year. 
    * Spot silver was also little changed at $28.12,
after rising to a 3-1/2-week high of $28.24 in the previous
session.
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * U.S. stocks finished mostly flat on Monday as investors
paused following the best two-day run this year, with central
bank meetings and a full load of U.S. economic data looming.
 
    * The euro consolidated recent gains on Tuesday following a
slew of negative economic news, while high expectations that
major central banks were poised to add more stimulus helped keep
risk currencies like the Australian dollar at multi-month highs.
 
        
    DATA/EVENTS
 0500  Japan     Construction orders yy     Jun                   
 0530  India     Repo Rate                                        
 0600  Germany   Retail sales yy real       Jun                   
 0755  Germany   Unemployment rate sa       Jul                   
 0900  EZ        Inflation, flash yy        Jul                   
 1145  U.S.      ICSC chain stores yy       Weekly                
 1230  U.S.      Personal income mm         Jun                   
 1300  U.S.      CaseShiller 20 mm nsa      May                   
 1300  U.S.      CaseShiller 20 yy          May                   
 1345  U.S.      Chicago PMI                Jul                   
 1400  U.S.      Consumer confidence        Jul                   
  
    PRICES
   
 Precious metals prices 0034 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1621.40    0.91   +0.06      3.68
  Spot Silver        28.12   -0.02   -0.07      1.55
  Spot Platinum    1414.75    4.30   +0.30      1.56
  Spot Palladium    585.97    2.52   +0.43    -10.20
  COMEX GOLD AUG2  1620.70    1.00   +0.06      3.44          115
  COMEX SILVER SEP2  28.09    0.05   +0.19      0.61          501
  Euro/Dollar       1.2262
  Dollar/Yen         78.10
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months 
 

 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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