PRECIOUS-Gold steady above $1,710/oz ahead of Fed meeting

Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:26am IST

SINGAPORE, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Gold held steady above $1,710
an ounce on Tuesday ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting
where policy makers are expected to announce more stimulus
measures, seen to support gold's appeal as a hedge against
inflation.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was little changed at $1,710.70 an ounce
by 0030 GMT, after rising to a one-week high of $1,717.20 in the
previous session.
    * U.S. gold traded nearly flat at $1,713.
    * Many economists think the U.S. central bank will announce
monthly bond purchases of $45 billion after its policy gathering
on Dec. 11-12, signalling it will continue to pump money into
the U.S. economy during 2013 in a bid to bring down
unemployment. 
    * The U.S. budget talks dragged on. The White House and
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner's office held more
negotiations on Monday on ways to break the "fiscal cliff"
stalemate, although neither side showed any public signs that
they were ready to give ground. 
    * Economic growth appears to be gathering traction in the
United States and Britain, while China and Italy may be about to
turn up, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development said on Monday. 
    * Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's surprise announcement
on his imminent departure sparked worries on who will lead the
euro zone's third-largest economy out of the debt crisis. On
Monday, Italian borrowing costs soared and share prices tumbled.
  
    * Holdings of gold-backed exchange-traded funds
 edged down to 76.177 million ounces on Dec. 9,
after hitting consecutive record highs.
    * Spot platinum edged down 0.1 percent to $1,616.27,
off Monday's high of $1,625, its highest since mid-October.
    * Spot palladium rose to a near three-month high of
$702.5 in the previous session, and eased to $698.50.
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * U.S. stocks edged higher on Monday as technology shares
bounced back after recent weakness and McDonald's posted strong
monthly sales. 
    * The euro extended its recovery from a two-week low on
Tuesday as nerves calmed over Italy's latest political turmoil
and the prospects of more stimulus from the Federal Reserve
pinned down the dollar. 
    
    
    DATA/EVENTS
 1000 Germany  ZEW survey Dec        
 1245 U.S.     ICSC weekly U.S. chain store sales          
 1330 U.S.     International trade Oct
 1355 U.S.     Redbook weekly retail sales
 1500 U.S.     ISM semi-annual forecasts
 1500 U.S.     Wholesale inventories Oct 
 1500 U.S.     IBD/TIPP Consumer confidence index Dec 
      Federal Open Market Committee starts first day of a two-day 
 interest rate policy meeting
    
    PRICES
  
 Precious metals prices 0030 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1710.70   -0.89   -0.05      9.39
  Spot Silver        33.19    0.00   +0.00     19.86
  Spot Platinum    1616.27   -1.98   -0.12     16.03
  Spot Palladium    698.50    1.70   +0.24      7.05
  COMEX GOLD DEC2  1713.00   -1.40   -0.08      9.33         1146
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  33.28   -0.10   -0.29     19.22          281
  Euro/Dollar       1.2944
  Dollar/Yen         82.38
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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