PRECIOUS-Gold steady above $1,610/oz ahead of Fed decision

Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:43pm EDT

SINGAPORE, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Gold traded little changed on
Wednesday, as investors wait for the U.S. Federal Reserve to
announce its decision on monetary policy and a slew of
manufacturing survey data to shed light on the global economic
conditions.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was nearly flat at $1,612.86 an ounce by
0019 GMT, after finishing July up nearly 1 percent -- its second
month of straight gains.
    * U.S. gold futures contract for December delivery 
edged up 0.4 percent to $1,616.40.
    * U.S. home prices rose for the fourth month in a row in
May, suggesting the recovery in the housing market continued to
gain traction, even as the broader economy wobbles.
 
    * Investors are waiting for a policy decision by the Federal
Reserve at the end of its two-day meeting, with sluggish data
over the past few weeks increasing pressure on the Fed to do
more to help the sputtering U.S. economy. 
    * A number of key economies, including China, euro zone and
the U.S., will release their purchasing manager index data, a
gauge of manufacturing activities that may influence the
appetite for riskier assets in the financial market.
 
    * Unemployment in the euro zone hit its euro-era high,
suggesting further decline of the economy. Market participants
are now closely watching Thursday's policy meeting of the
European Central Bank. 
    * Spot silver rose to $28.37 in the previous session,
its highest in nearly four weeks. The metal with both precious
and industrial properties stood little changed at $27.92.
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    MARKET NEWS
    * U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday with traders' sights set again
on Wednesday's Federal Reserve statement on the economy and a
possible new round of stimulus. 
    * The G3 currencies were expected to mark time in Asia on
Wednesday, following another listless offshore session as the
Federal Reserve policy decision loomed, a day ahead of the
European Central Bank's own meeting. 
        
    DATA/EVENTS
 0100  China     NBS Manufacturing PMI      Jul                   
 0230  China     HSBC Mfg PMI Final         Jul                   
 0400  U.S.      Total Vehicle Sales        Jul                   
 0500  India     HSBC Markit Mfg PMI        Jul                   
 0743  Italy     Markit/ADACI Mfg PMI       Jun                   
 0753  Germany   Markit/BME Mfg PMI         Jul                   
 0758  EZ        Markit Mfg PMI             Jul                   
 1200  Brazil    Industrial output yy       Jun                   
 1258  U.S.      Markit Mfg PMI             Jul                    
 1400  U.S.      ISM Manufacturing PMI      Jul                   
 1400  U.S.      Construction spending mm   Jun                   
 1815  U.S.      Fed policy decision        Jun                   
       U.S.      Vehicle sales              Jul                   
       Russia    HSBC Mfg PMI               Jul                   
 
    PRICES
    Precious metals prices 0019 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1612.86   -0.43   -0.03      3.14
  Spot Silver        27.92    0.01   +0.04      0.83
  Spot Platinum    1403.75   -6.55   -0.46      0.77
  Spot Palladium    585.25   -0.58   -0.10    -10.31
  COMEX GOLD DEC2  1616.40    5.90   +0.37      3.17           12
  COMEX SILVER SEP2  27.87   -0.05   -0.18     -0.18         1605
  Euro/Dollar       1.2291
  Dollar/Yen         78.10
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months  
    

 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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