PRECIOUS-Gold steady as investors eye U.S election outcome

    Nov 5 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on
Thursday after early U.S. election results suggested a lead for
Democrat contender Joe Biden, even as the possibility of a
contested result remained.       
    * Spot gold        was little changed at $1,904.66 per ounce
by 0111 GMT.    
    * U.S. gold futures        rose 0.5% to $1,905.50 per ounce.
    * Biden said on Wednesday he was headed toward a victory
over President Donald Trump in the U.S. election after claiming
the pivotal Midwestern states of Wisconsin and Michigan.
    * But Trump moved to file lawsuits and request for a recount
in votes in several battleground states, amounting to a broad
effort to contest the results of the election. 
    * Investors increasingly expect the Republican and
Democratic parties to retain their respective control of the
Senate and the House of Representatives, dimming the prospect of
higher taxes and financial regulation even under a Biden win. 
    * The dollar index        was flat against a basket of
currencies, having risen as much as 0.8% in the previous
    * U.S. private payrolls increased less than expected in
October and activity in the services industry cooled, providing
early signs of a slowdown in economic growth.             
    * The Bank of England is said to be considering a move into
negative interest rates, the Telegraph newspaper reported late
on Wednesday, without citing any sources, ahead of the central
bank's November monetary policy decision on Thursday.
    * The U.S. Federal Reserve's policy decision, due at 1900
GMT on Thursday, is also on investors' minds, with the central
bank expected to reaffirm its stance of low interest rate.
    * Silver        rose 0.3% to $23.98. Platinum        was
steady at $869.04, while palladium        fell 0.5% to

1330  US       Initial Jobless Clm   Weekly
1900  US       Federal Open Market Committee decision on
               interest rates     

 (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna
Chandra Eluri)