CORRECTED-PRECIOUS-Gold steady as markets await Fed rate hike clues

(Corrects first bullet to show spot gold ended almost flat in
last session, it did not fall 0.2 pct)
    Oct 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices were broadly stable early
Monday, after locking in their first weekly gain in four last
week, with markets waiting for further clues on the timing of
any interest rate hike.
    * Spot gold was up 0.05 percent at $1,266.86 an ounce
at 0050 GMT, after closing almost flat at $1,266.25 in the
previous session.
    * U.S. gold futures fell 0.02 percent to $1,267.50.
    * Third-quarter growth figures from the United States and
Britain will be scrutinised by financial markets in the week,
and a business survey will provide the first evidence on how the
euro zone has fared going into the fourth quarter. 
    * Disappointing growth in the world's largest economy might
make it less likely the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest
rates in December. Markets now put the chances the Fed will act
at about 70 percent.
    * Gold is highly sensitive to increases in U.S. interest
rates, which can lift the opportunity cost of holding
non-interest-bearing gold.
    * Several Fed policymakers are due to speak early in the
week, before the blackout period preceding the Nov. 2 meeting.
But they would have to be unusually hawkish to swing
expectations towards a rate increase hike next month, which
comes just before the Presidential election.
    * San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams
on Friday redoubled his call for raising rates soon, telling
reporters that "this year would be good" for a rate rise that he
had wanted to take effect last month. 
    * European Central Bank policymakers are likely to decide at
their meeting in December how to proceed with their quantitative
easing policy, ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said
on Friday. 
    * Long-term euro zone inflation projections remain well
anchored near the European Central Bank's target, but GDP growth
will be weaker than earlier thought, the ECB's Survey of
Professional Forecasters showed on Friday. 
    * The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was stable at 98.74 after
touching eight-month highs Friday. 
    * Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long
positions in COMEX gold for the third straight week in the week
to Oct. 18, sending it to a fresh seven-month low. 
    * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 1.71 percent to
953.56 tonnes on Friday. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
    0700  France     Markit manufacturing PMI flash    Oct 
    0730  Germany    Markit manufacturing PMI flash    Oct 
    0800  Euro zone  Markit manufacturing PMI flash    Oct 
    1345  U.S.       Markit manufacturing PMI flash    Oct 

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard