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PRECIOUS-Gold holds below $1,200 ahead of Fed
December 17, 2014 / 12:56 AM / 3 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds below $1,200 ahead of Fed

SINGAPORE, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Gold steadied at just below
$1,200 an ounce on Wednesday ahead of the outcome of the U.S.
Federal Reserve's last policy meeting of the year that may
signal how soon it will raise interest rates.
    Investors were also keeping an eye on Russia after the
rouble plunged more than 11 percent against the dollar on
Tuesday despite a hefty interest rate hike by the central bank.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,197.61 an ounce
by 0040 GMT after a volatile session on Tuesday that pulled it
to a one-week low of $1,188.41 before ending marginally higher.
    * U.S. gold for February delivery rose 0.3 percent
to $1,198.30 an ounce.
    * Investors will be watching whether the Federal Open Market
Committee will remove the phrase "considerable time" in the
statement due at the end of a two-day meeting with regard to the
timing of an interest rate hike. 
    * Dropping that phrase would mean the Fed is preparing the
market for a rate hike next year as the economy gathers
strength, analysts say, which could weaken prices of
non-interest bearing assets such as gold.
    * Further losses in oil may also weigh on gold after Brent
crude fell below $60 a barrel for the first time since
2009 with major oil producers in no mood to curb output despite
a well supplied market.
    * U.S. housing starts fell in November as groundbreaking for
single-family homes declined after two hefty increases, in what
appeared to be a brief pause in a trend of gradual recovery.
 
    * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings slipped to 721.56 tonnes
on Tuesday from 723.36 tonnes on Monday.
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
 or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * World markets braced for more volatility as tumbling oil
prices and a brewing financial crisis in Russia sent investors
stampeding for safe havens such as the yen and U.S. Treasuries.
 
    * The dollar nursed its losses in early Asian trading,
pulling away from lows hit overnight. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT)
    1000  Euro zone     Labour costs                      Q3
    1330  U.S.          Consumer prices                   Nov
    1330  U.S.          Current account                   Q3    
    1900 Federal Reserve releases statement after 2-day meeting
    1930 Fed Chair Janet Yellen holds new conference        
    
  Precious metals prices 0040 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    
  Spot Gold        1197.61    1.40   +0.12     -0.61
  Spot Silver        15.71    0.04   +0.26    -19.06
  Spot Platinum    1200.80   11.90   +1.00    -12.19
  Spot Palladium    784.25    5.27   +0.68      9.99
  COMEX GOLD FEB5  1198.30    4.00   +0.33     -0.44         
  COMEX SILVER MAR5  15.77    0.02   +0.11    -19.50          
  Euro/Dollar       1.2506
  Dollar/Yen        116.83
 
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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