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PRECIOUS-Gold slips as equities rally after Fed decision

Sept 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged down on Thursday,
after rising more than 1.5 percent in the prior session, as
investors targeted riskier assets such as equities following the
Federal Reserve's decision to keep U.S. interest rates
unchanged.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,333.86 an
ounce by 0053 GMT. 
    * U.S. gold futures rose 0.5 percent to $1,338.40 an
ounce.
    * The U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on
Wednesday but strongly signalled it could still tighten monetary
policy by the end of this year as the labor market improved
further. 
    * Asian shares look set to rise for a sixth straight session
on Thursday after the Federal Reserve left U.S. rates unchanged
and plotted a lower trajectory for future hikes, slugging the
dollar and boosting commodity prices. 
    * The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.3 percent to
95.393.
    * The Bank of Japan made an abrupt shift on Wednesday to
targeting interest rates on government bonds to achieve its
elusive inflation target, after years of massive money printing
failed to jolt the economy out of decades-long stagnation.
 
    *  Employment in the euro zone is rising faster than
expected and this may continue, but at a cost to productivity
and potentially to long-term economic growth, European Central
Bank research showed on Wednesday. 
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.60 percent to 944.39
tonnes on Wednesday. 
    *  The world's biggest gold miners will stay shy of big
acquisitions, top executives said this week, noting that a jump
in the price of bullion has made potential purchases pricey, and
memories of failed deals linger. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
 or 
    
    MARKET REPORT
    * Oil prices extended gains from the previous session in
Asian trading on Thursday after a surprise third consecutive
weekly U.S. crude inventory draw tightened the market. 
    

    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)
    1230 U.S. initial jobless claims 
    1230 U.S. National Activity Index  
    0200 Eurozone Consumer confidence flash September
    0200 U.S. existing home sales 

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