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Gold prices steady; traders seek direction
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian gold futures steadied on Thursday, following global leads, but traders sought price direction ahead of the monetary policy statement from the European Central Bank.
* The most-active gold for August delivery on the Multi Commodity Exchange was 0.26 percent higher at 29,684 rupees per 10 grams at 1040 GMT.
* ECB chief Mario Draghi boosted hopes for fresh action to help the euro last week when he said he would do whatever was necessary to protect the single currency.
* "Any such central bank event is vital to the market and people generally refuse to take positions before this," said a dealer with a private bank in Mumbai.
* Physical demand has been subdued so far this year and is expected to remain dull.
* The festival season starts in August in India, the world's biggest gold buyer in 2011, and continues till November.
* Traders are also watching the monsoon forecast for the second half of the June-September season, which is vital to gold demand in rural areas.
* Monsoon rains, which have been below normal so far, are vital to the farm economy in rural areas, which account for 60 percent of gold demand.
* Silver for September delivery on the MCX was 0.09 percent higher at 53,221 rupees per kg.
(Reporting by Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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