PRECIOUS-Gold flat as investors watch U.S. fiscal talks
SINGAPORE, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Gold traded nearly flat on Tuesday, with many investors stood on the sidelines in the penultimate week of the year, watching U.S. lawmakers inch towards a deal to avert fiscal calamity. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was little changed at $1,696.20 an ounce by 0026 GMT. * U.S. gold traded nearly flat at $1,697.90. * Hopes rose on Monday that Washington would be able to step back from the "fiscal cliff" as President Barack Obama and Republican John Boehner inched toward a deal that would prevent steep tax hikes and spending cuts that could push the economy into recession. * The U.S. Federal Reserve's latest policy actions are unlikely to do much to bring down unemployment and carry a "material" risk of sparking inflation, one of the U.S. central bank's most hawkish policymakers said on Monday. * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, inched down to 1,350.519 tonnes on Dec 17, but still held near a record high of 1,353.346 tonnes hit earlier in the month. * For the top stories on metals and other news, click , or MARKET NEWS * The S&P 500 ended at its highest level in almost two months on Monday. * The yen steadied in early Asian trade on Tuesday after skidding to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar in over a year and a half in the previous session, while the euro held its ground. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0030 Australia RBA minutes 1245 US ICSC/GS weekly chain store sales 1500 US NAHB Index for December 1815 US Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher speaks PRICES Precious metals prices 0026 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1696.20 -1.45 -0.09 8.47 Spot Silver 32.22 -0.04 -0.12 16.36 Spot Platinum 1604.74 2.25 +0.14 15.20 Spot Palladium 695.75 -0.72 -0.10 6.63 COMEX GOLD FEB3 1697.90 -0.30 -0.02 8.37 1191 COMEX SILVER MAR3 32.32 0.03 +0.11 15.76 174 Euro/Dollar 1.3161 Dollar/Yen 83.86 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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