PRECIOUS-Gold steady; eyes on Gaza truce talk, U.S. fiscal woes

Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:53pm EST

SINGAPORE, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Gold traded steady on
Wednesday as investors await progress in truce talks on the Gaza
strip, after comments from the U.S. central bank chief on the
country's looming fiscal woes dragged down bullion in the
previous session.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold inched down 0.1 percent to $1,725.89 an
ounce by 0039 GMT. 
    * U.S. gold was up 0.2 percent to $1,726.20.
    * U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday and pledged to work for a
truce in the Gaza Strip "in the days ahead". 
    * U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that
failing to avert the "fiscal cliff" -- $600 billion in expiring
tax cuts and spending reductions early next year -- could lead
to recession, and said the Fed doesn't have the tools to offset
the damage of such a fiscal disaster. 
    * U.S. housing starts rose to their highest rate in more
than four years in October, suggesting the housing market
recovery was gaining steam, even though permits for future
construction fell. 
    * Euro zone finance ministers are considering allowing
Athens to buy back up to 40 billion euros of its own bonds at a
discount as one of a number of measures to cut Greek debt to 120
percent of GDP within the next eight years. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    MARKET NEWS
    * Wall Street halted its two-day rally on Tuesday, after
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank
lacks tools to cushion the U.S. economy from the impact of the
"fiscal cliff." 
    * The yen slumped to seven-month lows against the dollar on
Wednesday and fell nearly as far against the euro on views
Japan's central bank will be pushed into implementing more
radical monetary expansion policies. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS
 1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims                        
 1358 U.S. Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI Nov          
 1455 U.S. TR/U Mich final sentiment index Nov             
 1500 U.S. Leading indicators Oct                       
    
    PRICES
    
   
 Precious metals prices 0039 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1725.89   -2.15   -0.12     10.37
  Spot Silver        33.09   -0.07   -0.21     19.50
  Spot Platinum    1573.99    4.74   +0.30     12.99
  Spot Palladium    633.60    0.38   +0.06     -2.90
  COMEX GOLD DEC2  1726.20    2.60   +0.15     10.17         1837
  COMEX SILVER DEC2  33.10    0.16   +0.50     18.56         1053
  Euro/Dollar       1.2811
  Dollar/Yen         81.81
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
  

 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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