PRECIOUS-Gold holds gains on concerns over U.S. debt ceiling

Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:30pm EDT

SINGAPORE, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Gold held steady early on
Thursday, maintaining gains made in the previous session as
uncertainty over the U.S. debt ceiling prompted safe-haven
buying of the metal.

    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was nearly flat, easing 0.06 percent to
$1,332.14 an ounce by 0017 GMT, after gaining 0.8 percent in the
previous session.
    * U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew pleaded for quick action
in the deeply divided Congress on raising the $16.7 trillion
statutory limit on government borrowing, as he projected an Oct.
17 date when borrowing capacity would be nearly exhausted and
only $30 billion would be left in his agency's checking account.
 
    * Republican leaders in the House of Representatives
notified members that a vote on raising the debt limit could
come as early as Friday. Lawmakers also grappled with another
potential crisis: federal agency shutdowns that could begin with
the new fiscal year on Oct. 1 unless Congress comes up with
emergency funds.
    * Gold - seen as a safe haven and alternative investment - 
rose to a record $1,920 an ounce in September 2011, partly on
fears over the first U.S. debt ceiling crisis.
    * U.S. regulators on Wednesday closed a five-year
investigation into alleged manipulation of the silver market,
saying 7,000 staff hours of investigation produced no evidence
of wrongdoing. 
    * Chile's Supreme Court on Wednesday confirmed a freeze on
Barrick Gold Corp's suspended Pascua-Lama gold mine but
the Toronto-based miner escaped having the project's
environmental permit revoked. 
    * Indian customs cleared some of the imported gold that was
lying at airports and meant for exports after processing, trade
body officials said on Wednesday, a move that could restart
shipments after a gap of more than two months. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * The dollar fell and global equities markets continued to
struggle on Wednesday on fears over the U.S. debt ceiling.
 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 
    0645 France Consumer confidence 
    0800 Euro zone M3 money supply 
    1230 U.S. Final Q2 GDP 
    1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 
    1400 U.S. Pending home sales 

  Precious metals prices 0017 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1332.14   -0.85   -0.06    -20.45
  Spot Silver        21.77    0.02   +0.09    -28.10
  Spot Platinum    1422.50   -3.70   -0.26     -7.33
  Spot Palladium    720.51    0.01   +0.00      4.12
  COMEX GOLD DEC3  1332.90   -3.30   -0.25    -20.46         2424
  COMEX SILVER DEC3  21.82   -0.07   -0.30    -28.00          593
  Euro/Dollar       1.3519
  Dollar/Yen         98.45
 
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 
 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Chris Gallagher)