Sept 21 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed in Asian trade on Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of the Bank of Japan's policy meeting and a decision on interest rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve later in the day. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was almost flat at $1,314.80 an ounce by 0109 GMT. * U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,318.60 an ounce. * The dollar and the yen fluttered in narrow ranges on Wednesday, penned in by uncertainty about the outcome of Bank of Japan and Federal Reserve policy meetings. * The U.S. central bank is widely expected to hold interest rates unchanged at 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent, and could hint at a rate hike by the end of the year. * The Bank of Japan is expected to make negative interest rates the centrepiece of a new policy framework - widely seen as a desperate attempt to show it still has the means to fight chronic stagnation. * U.S. Treasuries' yields fell on Tuesday as traders bought longer-dated bonds on uncertainty over whether the Bank of Japan might decide to add more stimulus to boost its economy. * Japan's exports fell 9.6 percent in August from a year earlier, posting an 11th straight month of decline, Ministry of Finance data showed on Wednesday, underscoring sluggish external demand. * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.41 percent to 938.75 tonnes on Tuesday. * Russia's gold reserves increased to 49.1 million troy ounces as of the start of September from 48.4 million ounces a month earlier, the central bank said on Tuesday. * Swiss gold imports from Hong Kong hit their highest since records began in 2012 last month, data from the Swiss customs bureau showed on Tuesday, while its exports to the region slipped to a four-month low. * New Gold Inc, which has unnerved shareholders this month by revising upward to over $1 billion the estimated cost of a mine it is building, is confident that this will be the last projected increase. * For the top stories on metals and other news, click or MARKET REPORT Asian shares got off to a tentative start on Wednesday, while the yen was steady as investors braced for the outcome of the Bank of Japan's policy meeting amid heightened speculation the central bank will make crucial changes to its massive easing programme. (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Ed Davies)
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