SINGAPORE, Feb 27 Gold traded flat on Wednesday,
perching near a 1-1/2-week high hit in the previous session as
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke defended the bank's
monetary policy, lending support to gold as a hedge against
central banks' cash printing.
* Spot gold was little changed at $1,613.61 an ounce
by 0028 GMT, after hitting a 1-1/2-week high of $1,619.66. It
rose 1.2 percent on Tuesday, its biggest daily gain in three
* U.S. gold inched down 0.1 percent to $1,613.30.
* Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke strongly defended
the U.S. central bank's monetary stimulus before Congress on
Tuesday, easing financial market worries over a possible early
retreat from bond purchases.
* U.S. home prices closed out 2012 with the biggest annual
gain in more than six years while sales of new homes spiked in
January, the latest sign that the housing market was on the
mend, data showed on Tuesday.
* Italy's political parties searched for a way forward on
Tuesday after an inconclusive election gave none of them a
parliamentary majority and threatened prolonged instability and
a renewal of the European financial crisis.
* Goldman Sachs cut its 2013 gold price forecast to
$1,600 an ounce from $1,810 an ounce, saying the metal's recent
price drop and an increase in U.S. real interest rates have led
it to bring forward its projections for a decline in the metal.
* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's top
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 2.408 tonnes from the
previous session to 1,270.44 tonnes on Feb. 26 in its sixth
session of decline.
* Spot platinum traded little changed at $1,619.49,
returning to a premium over gold after the gap closed briefly on
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* The yen held near one-month highs on Wednesday, remaining
susceptible to bursts of short-covering as political uncertainty
in Italy kept the euro under the gun.
* U.S. stocks rebounded from their worst decline since
November on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
defended the Fed's bond-buying stimulus and sales of new homes
hit a 4 1/2-year high.
0700 Germany GfK consumer sentiment
0745 France Consumer confidence
0900 Italy Business confidence
1000 Euro zone Business climate
1000 Euro zone Economic sentiment
1330 U.S. Durable goods orders
1500 U.S. Pending homes sales
1500 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers
semi-annual testimony on the economy and monetary
policy before the House Financial Services Committee
1730 Euro zone ECB President Mario Draghi speaks
Precious metals prices 0028 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume
Spot Gold 1613.61 0.50 +0.03 -3.64
Spot Silver 29.35 -0.01 -0.03 -3.07
Spot Platinum 1619.49 1.00 +0.06 5.50
Spot Palladium 744.47 0.75 +0.10 7.58
COMEX GOLD APR3 1613.30 -2.20 -0.14 -3.73 2108
COMEX SILVER MAR3 29.34 0.07 +0.26 -2.96 611
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Richard Pullin)