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PRECIOUS-Gold retains strength ahead of Fed meeting

Sept 20 (Reuters) - Gold edged up in Asian trade, extending
gains into a second day, on expectations the Federal Reserve
will leave U.S. interest rates unchanged at its two-day meeting
that kicks off later on Tuesday.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,314.58 an ounce
by 0050 GMT. 
    * U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,318 an ounce.
    * The Fed's two-day meeting starts on Tuesday, where
policymakers will debate the U.S. economy and its ability to
absorb a rate hike. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to
conclude the meeting with a press conference at 2:00 p.m. ET
(1800 GMT) on Wednesday.
    * The Bank of Japan may steal the thunder from the U.S.
Federal Reserve and its chair Janet Yellen this week if it
chooses to give more monetary stimulus in its latest effort to
jumpstart its economy and the U.S. central bank decides to stand
pat on rates. 
    * The Bank of Japan could shift negative interest rates to
the primary focus of its monetary policy on Wednesday,
heightening market disquiet over what any move away from
quantitative easing reveals about the waning firepower of global
central banks. 
    * U.S. Treasuries yields slipped on Monday as traders booked
profits made on curve-steepening bets ahead of monetary policy
meetings this week at the Bank of Japan and the U.S. Federal
Reserve. 
    * Barrick Gold's Veladero gold mine in Argentina, one of its
five core mines, could resume operations in the next two weeks,
Barrick President Kelvin Dushnisky said in an interview on
Monday. 
    * Harmony Gold acquired full ownership of Hidden Valley mine
in Papua New Guinea. 
    * Newmont Mining Corp's sale of its stake in the
Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia may not close until the fourth
quarter of the year, Chief Executive Gary Goldberg said on
Monday, adding that the approvals process was complex.
 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
 or 
    
    MARKET REPORT
    Asian shares edged lower on Tuesday as investors nervously
waited on the outcomes of the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan
policy meetings that begin later in the session. 

    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)
    0600  Germany   Producer prices      August
    1230  U.S.      Housing starts       August
    1230  U.S.      Building permits     August
    Federal Open Market Committee starts two-day policy meeting 

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Ed Davies)
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