Nov 4 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Wednesday as investors keenly watched the final few hours of a close U.S presidential election, with a contested result was a possibility. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was little changed at $1,906.71 per ounce by 0045 GMT, having hit a near two-weak peak of $1,916.06 earlier in the session. * U.S. gold futures edged 0.1% higher to $1,911.60 per ounce. * National polls show Democrat Joe Biden leading the race but President Donald Trump is close enough in several election battleground states to retain the presidency. * The winner - who may not be determined for days - will lead a nation strained by the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 231,000 people and left millions more jobless, racial tensions and political polarization that has only worsened during a vitriolic campaign. * The dollar index was flat against a basket of currencies, having hit a one-week low earlier in the session. * New orders for U.S.-made goods increased solidly in September, but further gains could be limited amid an anticipated slowdown in consumer spending as government money for businesses and workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic runs out. * The Federal Open Market Committee begins its two-day policy meeting later in the day, with policymakers expected to reaffirm its commitment to support the pandemic-struck economy and keep interest rates unchanged. * Silver fell 0.1% to $24.14 an ounce. Platinum dropped 0.4% to $863.25 and palladium gained 0.2% to $2,286.36/ DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0900 EU Oct. Markit Serv, Comp Final PMIs 1330 US Sept. International Trade 1445 US Oct. Markit services, Comp Final PMIs 1500 US Oct ISM non-manufacturing PMI (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)
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