SINGAPORE Gold was little changed on Wednesday ahead of the outcome of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting that investors hope will unveil more bond buying measures, supporting bullion's appeal as a hedge against inflation.
* Spot gold traded nearly flat at $1,708.91 an ounce by 0034 GMT.
* U.S. gold was also little changed, at $1,708.20.
* President Barack Obama and U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone on Tuesday after exchanging new proposals to avert the "fiscal cliff" as negotiations intensified ahead of the end-of-year deadline.
* A Reuters poll showed that the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to announce a new round of Treasury securities purchases at its policy meeting which concludes later in the day.
* Morale among German analysts and investors improved sharply in December on the back of encouraging U.S. economic data, fanning hopes that Europe's largest economy will avoid recession this winter.
* Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti warned against a slide into populism on Tuesday as Silvio Berlusconi attacked his technocrat government, accusing it of failed "Germano-centric" policies that had dragged Italy into recession.
* Holdings of gold-backed exchange-traded funds edged up to 76.178 million ounces on December 10, after slipping from a record high of 76.187 million ounces in the previous session.
* U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, led by gains in technology companies, helping the S&P 500 end at its highest level since Election Day. .N
* The dollar wallowed at three-month lows against the Australian currency and remained broadly under pressure on Wednesday as markets geared up for more stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
(Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
CCI fines cement companies $944 million for price fixing
MUMBAI The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a 63.2 billion rupee ($944 million) fine on 10 cement companies and a trade body for price fixing, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs said a statement.
India accords residency status to foreign investors
NEW DELHI India approved a plan on Wednesday to allow foreign investors to settle, emulating a policy in countries such as the United States and Singapore to woo investment from abroad.
India's fiscal deficit reaches 74 percent of full-year target in July
NEW DELHI India's fiscal deficit during April-July was 3.93 trillion rupees ($58.69 billion), or 73.7 percent of the budgeted target for the fiscal year ending in March 2017, government data showed on Wednesday.