PRECIOUS-Gold near 4-month low, U.S. budget talks watched

Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:27am IST

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SINGAPORE, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Gold regained some footing on
Friday as the euro stayed near an eight-month high against the
dollar and talks to avoid a fiscal crisis in the United States
seemed to stall again, but the metal was still on track for its
fourth weekly fall.
     
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Gold was little changed at $1,647.06 an ounce by
0045 GMT after falling to its weakest level since August in the
previous session on heavy liquidation by hedge funds and signs
of an improving U.S. economy.
   * U.S. gold for February rose $2.30 an ounce to 
$1,648.20.      
    * The U.S. House of Representatives abruptly recessed on
Thursday amid uncertainty whether Republicans had the votes
needed to pass a "fiscal cliff" tax plan offered by Speaker John
Boehner. 
     * Iraq made its first major move in years to bolster its
gold reserves in recent months, while Brazil increased its
holdings of bullion by almost a third in November, data from the
International Monetary Fund showed on Thursday. 
     * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * Despite the euro zone's own debt problems, the euro was on
track to end the year some 2 percent higher against the
greenback. It was at $1.3251, near an eight-month high
around $1.3309 set this week.  
    * Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Friday and may test a
nine-month high after Wall Street stocks climbed on hopes for
progress in U.S. fiscal talks, with exporters gaining on a
weaker yen. 
     * U.S. crude stayed above $90 a barrel after five days of
gains, though prices pulled back a touch on caution over U.S.
budget talks as Republicans in the U.S. Congress pushed ahead
with a plan that stands no chance of becoming law. 
          
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 
    
 1330  U.S.  Durable goods orders  Weekly          
 1930  U.S.  CFTC commitment of traders data Weekly       
 N/A   Japan releases monthly economic report for Dec      
 0930  UK current account and final GDP reading for Q3  
 1330  U.S. Personal income/spending for November  
 1330  U.S. Durable goods for November  
 1530  U.S. ECRI weekly
  
    PRICES
    
  Precious metals prices 0045 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1647.06   -0.08   -0.00      5.32
  Spot Silver        29.97    0.03   +0.10      8.23
  Spot Platinum    1551.22    5.97   +0.39     11.36
  Spot Palladium    676.75   -0.50   -0.07      3.72
  COMEX GOLD FEB3  1648.20    2.30   +0.14      5.20         3101
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  30.01    0.33   +1.12      7.50          603
  Euro/Dollar       1.3224
  Dollar/Yen         84.35
 
    
    
    

 (Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan; Editing by Eric Meijer)
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