SINGAPORE, Nov 21 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
* 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
* 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.
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* 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
* 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.
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
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
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Richard Pullin)