PRECIOUS-Gold extends gains, buoyed by Indian festival demand

Oct 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices extended gains on Wednesday
after touching nearly 3-week highs in the previous session,
buoyed by rising physical demand ahead of India's late-October
festival season.
    * Spot gold was up about 0.1 percent at $1274.76 an
ounce at 0054 GMT. It hit its strongest since Oct. 5 on Tuesday
at $1,276.67. 
    * U.S. gold futures rose nearly 0.2 percent to
$1275.70 an ounce.
    * Gold is a traditional gift during two of the most
important Hindu festivals, Dhanteras and Diwali, which will be
celebrated at the end of the month.
    * U.S. stocks fell on disappointing earnings reports on
Tuesday, while the U.S. dollar slipped from multi-month highs
after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney cast doubt on
expectations for more monetary stimulus. 
    * The European Central Bank is aware of the growing costs to
the financial sector of its ultra-loose monetary policy and
would rather not have to keep negative interest rates for too
long, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Tuesday. 
    * A potential U.S. interest rate hike in December will have
limited impact on the yuan, the People's Bank of China chief
economist Ma Jun told reporters on Tuesday. 
    * U.S. home prices rose 5.1 percent in the year to August as
home buyers competed for fewer properties, helped by low
mortgage interest rates, some wage growth and low unemployment.
    * Russia and Kazakhstan continued to boost their gold
reserves in September, data from the International Monetary Fund
showed on Tuesday. 
    * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.34 percent to
956.83 tonnes on Tuesday from 953.56 tonnes on Monday.
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     0600  Germany             GfK consumer sentiment   Nov 
     0600  Germany             Import prices            Sep 
     0645  France              Consumer confidence      Oct 
     1230  U.S.                Wholesale inventory      Sep 
     1400  U.S.                New home sales           Sep 

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph