PRECIOUS-Gold rangebound as markets await Fed minutes for stimulus clues

Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:41pm EST

SINGAPORE, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Gold was trading in a tight
range on Wednesday as investors awaited the release of the
minutes of a Federal Reserve policy meeting later in the session
for clues on when the bank will trim its stimulus.
    A lack of major U.S. economic data and lacklustre physical
demand also prevented investors from taking big positions. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was largely unchanged at $1,274.06 an
ounce by 0023 GMT. 
    * Platinum and palladium were steady following gains on
Tuesday after South African utility Eskom declared a power
emergency on Tuesday, a move that could reduce output at mines
and smelters. 
    * Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday the
Fed will maintain ultra-easy U.S. monetary policy for as long as
needed and will only begin to taper bond buying once it is
assured that labour market improvements would continue.
    * Bernanke said that while the economy had made significant
progress, it was still far from where officials wanted it to be.
 
    * The Fed may need to wait until next year, possibly until
March, before beginning to wind down its massive bond-purchase
program, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said on Tuesday.
 
    * Minutes of the October 29-30 Fed meeting are due to be
released later on Wednesday, with investors looking for detail
of Fed discussions on the timing of any tapering.
    * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 1.50 tonnes to
863.01 tonnes on Tuesday. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    MARKET NEWS
    * Pressure on the yen showed no signs of letting up on
Wednesday, with the euro climbing to a four-year peak and the
dollar holding onto overnight gains even after more dovish
comments from top Fed officials. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    0700 Germany Producer prices 
    1200 U.S. Weekly mortgage market index 
    1330 U.S. Retail sales 
    1330 U.S. Consumer inflation 
    1500 U.S. Existing home sales 
    1900 FOMC releases minutes from Oct. 29-30 meeting

    PRICES AT 0023 GMT    
 Metal               Last         Change   Pct chg  YTD pct chg
                                                                
 Spot gold               1274.06    -0.58    -0.05        -23.92
 Spot silver               20.34     0.02      0.1        -32.83
 Spot platinum           1411.24    -0.56    -0.04         -8.06
 Spot palladium           717.75    -0.25    -0.03          3.72
 Comex gold Dec3          1273.6      0.1     0.01           -24
 Comex silver Dec3         20.35    0.016     0.08        -32.86
 Euro                     1.3554                                
 DXY                      80.588                                
                                                                
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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