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PRECIOUS-Gold holds gains, awaits Bernanke for direction
July 17, 2013 / 12:42 AM / 4 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds gains, awaits Bernanke for direction

SINGAPORE, July 17 (Reuters) - Gold held close to a
three-week high on Wednesday after a near 1 percent rise in the
previous session as investors awaited clear direction from the
Federal Reserve regarding its stimulus measures.
    Markets are focused on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's
semi-annual testimony to a U.S. Congressional panel later today
for any clues on when it may start to taper its $85 billion
monthly bond purchases.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was little changed at $1,292.21 an ounce
by 0821 GMT, hovering below a three-week high of $1,298.36
reached last Thursday. U.S. gold was up about $1 at
$1,291.50.
    * The metal rose 0.8 percent on Tuesday after the U.S. Labor
Department said its Consumer Price Index increased 0.5 percent,
the largest rise since February, increasing bullion's appeal as
a hedge against inflation.
    * Gold has swayed between sharp gains and losses over the
last few weeks following mixed comments from the Fed about the
likely timing of a scale-back in economic stimulus.
    * The Fed should begin to reduce its massive bond-buying
program and bring it to a close "sometime in the first half of
next year," Kansas City Fed President Esther George said on
Tuesday. 
    * However, George also said should the U.S. economy grow
faster than currently expected, it may be "appropriate" to
reduce the bond-buying program at a faster pace.
    * Cyprus said on Tuesday a sale of its gold reserves was not
the only option under consideration to pay down its debt and
that other alternatives were being considered. News that Cyprus
could be forced to offload gold triggered a steep fall in the
price of the metal in April as traders worried about the
precedent it could set. 
    * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell to 937.57 tonnes on
Tuesday, their lowest in four years. 
    * Eldorado Gold Corp said on Tuesday it will cut
2013 capital spending by 35 percent and push back the start of
various projects, making it the latest producer to curb spending
in response to low gold prices. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * The dollar stayed on the defensive in early Asian trade on
Wednesday as investors suffered a case of cold feet ahead of
Bernanke's semi-annual testimony in Congress later in the day.
 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 
    0200 China Foreign direct investment 
    1230 U.S. Building permits 
    1230 U.S. Housing starts 
    1400 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers         
 semiannual testimony before Congress committee 
    1800 U.S. Federal Reserve Beige Book
    
  Precious metals prices 0021 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1292.21    0.22   +0.02    -22.83
  Spot Silver        19.95   -0.03   -0.15    -34.11
  Spot Platinum    1419.24   -4.26   -0.30     -7.54
  Spot Palladium    731.97   -1.53   -0.21      5.78
  COMEX GOLD AUG3  1291.50    1.10   +0.09    -22.93         2529
  COMEX SILVER SEP3  19.96    0.02   +0.10    -34.15          338
  Euro/Dollar       1.3146
  Dollar/Yen         99.13
 
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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