October 31, 2017 / 4:51 AM / 18 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady, central banks in focus

    * BOJ keeps monetary policy steady, Fed meeting begins Tues
    * Spot gold on track for second monthly decline
    * Silver climbed 1.2 pct, palladium up 4 pct so far in Oct
    * GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

 (Updates prices)
    By Vijaykumar Vedala
    Oct 31 (Reuters) - Gold prices were largely unchanged on
Tuesday after the Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy steady,
with investors shifting their attention to other central bank
meetings and economic events due this week.
    Gold markets remained cautious ahead of a two-day U.S.
Federal Reserve policy meeting beginning Tuesday, the likely
announcement of the next Fed chair on Thursday and U.S. payrolls
data on Friday.
    Ongoing political unrest in Catalonia was also in focus,
along with the Bank of England's meeting this week to discuss
interest rate policy.    
    Spot gold        was little changed at $1,275.49 per ounce
at 0724 GMT. It has shed about 0.3 percent so far in October, in
what could be its second straight monthly decline. 
    U.S. gold futures         for December delivery dipped 0.1
percent to $1,277.10. 
    "The market is catching its breath for what will be a very
data-heavy second half of the week," said Jeffrey Halley, a
senior market analyst with OANDA.
    "Gold itself appears to have lost any risk-aversion premium
for now and is thus completely at the mercy of the nuances of
the U.S. bond and stock market, and by default the U.S. dollar,"
he added.   
    The dollar was down 0.1 percent against the yen        after
the BOJ's decision to keep monetary policy steady even as it
slightly cut its inflation forecast for the current fiscal year.
            
    The greenback slipped 0.4 percent against a basket of
currencies        on Monday after reports that former aides of
U.S. President Donald Trump, including former campaign manager,
Paul Manafort, were charged by federal authorities probing
Russian interference in the 2016 election.             
    "The focus (for gold investors) is on the Fed meeting and
the apparent transfer to the new chair next year. Everything
else is secondary unless it moves the dollar much ... Investors
are really cautious going into that," said ANZ analyst Daniel
Hynes.
    Trump is likely to pick Fed Governor Jerome Powell as the
next head of the U.S. central bank, a source familiar with the
matter said on Monday.                     
    Powell is seen as being more dovish on monetary policy than
other contenders for the post, especially compared to Stanford
University economist John Taylor, who has been regarded as
another top challenger for the position.            
    Spot gold may test resistance at $1,281 per ounce, a break
above which could lead to a gain to the next resistance level at
$1,286, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
              
    Among other precious metals, silver        was flat at
$16.83 an ounce. Platinum        gained 0.2 percent to $918.35
an ounce, while palladium        climbed 0.8 percent to $972.50
an ounce.    
    Silver has risen 1.2 percent, platinum about 1 percent,
while has palladium gained 4 percent in October thus far.    

 (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu and Joseph Radford)
  

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