April 30 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Tuesday as Asian shares fell ahead of the release of a raft of economic data and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting which will decide the trajectory of interest rates.
* Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,281.95 per ounce at 0123 GMT.
* U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,283.90 an ounce.
* Shares in Asia fell on Tuesday morning despite another record high close for the S&P 500, as investors look to a U.S. Federal Reserve statement due Wednesday for signs the central bank will continue a “patient” approach to interest rate policy.
* Growth in China’s factory activity unexpectedly slowed in April, an official survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting the economy is still struggling to regain traction despite a flurry of support measures.
* The market is now eyeing a bevy of economic data from the euro zone and the Fed’s statement on Wednesday.
* The Federal Reserve is expected to hold interest rates steady as policymakers balance recent stronger-than-expected U.S. economic growth against sluggish inflation.
* China’s net gold imports via main conduit Hong Kong in March rose 9.8 percent from the previous month, Hong Kong government data showed on Monday.
* Australia-based Newcrest Mining Ltd’s gold production in the third quarter came in about 5 percent lower than in the prior quarter, hurt by lower production at most of its operations, including its flagship Cadia mine.
* Newmont Goldcorp Corp said on Monday it plans to suspend operations at its Peñasquito mine in Mexico due to a blockade by a trucking contractor and some members of the Cedros community.
* Palladium fell by 7 percent on Monday to $1,361.50 an ounce, but recovered some ground to settle at $1,370.50.
* Palladium was up 0.3 percent at $1,374.51 an ounce on Tuesday.
* 0530 France GDP Preliminary QQ Q1
* 0645 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY April
* 0755 Germany Unemployment Chg SA April
* 0755 Germany Unemployment Rate SA April
* 0900 EU GDP Flash Prelim YY QQ Q1
* 0900 EU Unemployment Rate March
* 1200 Germany CPI Prelim YY April
* 1200 Germany HICP Prelim YY April
* 1400 U.S. Consumer Confidence April
U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee to commence its two-day meeting on interest rates (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)