SINGAPORE, Jan 31 Gold was little changed on
Thursday, hovering below a one-week top hit in the previous
session when data showing a surprise contraction in the U.S.
economy and the Federal Reserve's decision to continue its
bond-buying plan supported bullion.
* Spot gold was nearly flat at $1,677.44 an ounce by
0032 GMT, off a near one-week high of $1,683.39 in the previous
* U.S. gold inched down 0.2 percent to $1,677.10.
* The U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the fourth
quarter, but analysts said there was no reason for panic given
that consumer spending and business investment picked up.
* The Federal Reserve on Wednesday left in place its monthly
$85 billion bond-buying stimulus plan, arguing the support was
needed to lower unemployment even as it indicated a recent stall
in U.S. economic growth was likely temporary.
* Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls data is in focus. Hiring by
U.S. employers likely held steady in January, pointing to modest
growth in the economy despite worries that budget battles in
Washington could derail the recovery.
* India's government does not currently plan additional
taxes or curbs on imports of gold as it waits to see the impact
of recent tax hikes, a top finance ministry official told
Reuters on Wednesday.
* Commodities have decisively broken their lock-step with
other assets, which lasted from 2008 to 2012, and now lower
volatility and an expected end to central bank money printing
could ensure the correlation does not return.
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* U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve
said in its latest statement that economic growth had stalled
but indicated the pullback was likely temporary.
* The euro held near a 14-month peak against the dollar and
a 2-1/2 year high versus the yen on Thursday, having risen
solidly as investors expect central banks in both the United
States and Japan to keep an aggressive easing stance.
0500 Japan Construction orders
0500 Japan Housing starts
0700 Germany Retail sales
0745 France Producer prices
0855 Germany Unemployment rate
1300 Germany Preliminary CPI
1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims
1330 U.S. Personal income
1445 U.S. Chicago PMI
Precious metals prices 0032 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume
Spot Gold 1677.44 0.74 +0.04 0.17
Spot Silver 32.04 0.02 +0.06 5.81
Spot Platinum 1681.74 -0.50 -0.03 9.56
Spot Palladium 746.47 -0.28 -0.04 7.87
COMEX GOLD FEB3 1677.10 -2.80 -0.17 0.08 185
COMEX SILVER MAR3 32.06 -0.12 -0.36 6.05 575
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Himani Sarkar)