Sept 13 (Reuters) - Gold edged higher early on Tuesday after a top Federal Reserve official quelled expectations of a U.S. interest rate hike next week. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was up about 0.2 percent at $1,328.52 an ounce by 0056 GMT. * U.S. gold futures were up 0.5 percent at $1,332.40 an ounce. * The Fed should avoid removing support for the U.S. economy too quickly, Board Governor Lael Brainard said on Monday in comments that solidified the view the central bank would leave interest rates unchanged next week. * Traders trimmed their odds for a September rate hike to 15 percent from 24 percent on Friday, according to CME Group. * The U.S. dollar fell against a basket of major rivals on Monday after Brainard's comments, while speculation of a less-accommodative Bank of Japan boosted the yen. * Big Japanese manufacturers turned optimistic in the third quarter and companies revised up their capital expenditure plans in a sign the economy is gaining momentum. * Barrick Gold Corp, the world's biggest gold producer, said on Monday it would partner with Cisco Systems to incorporate digital technology in all aspects of its mining business, aiming to improve productivity and reduce costs. * Johannesburg-listed miner Gold Fields said on Monday that an employee at the South Deep mine in South Africa was killed in an accident on Saturday following a seismic event. The management of the mine immediately suspended all so-called destress mining activities and notified the Department of Mineral Resources, it said. * For the top stories on metals and other news, click or MARKET REPORT * Asian stocks rose early on Tuesday, boosted as Wall Street rallied overnight. * Oil prices ended nearly 1 percent higher on Monday as a softer dollar and the stronger U.S. equity markets helped crude futures rebound from an early drop pressured by worries about increased drilling activity in the United States. DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 0900 Euro Zone Employment Q2 1000 U.S. NFIB Business Optimism Aug 1255 U.S. Redbook weekly (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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