PRECIOUS-Gold edges down on firmer dollar

Oct 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched down on Thursday to
extend losses from the previous session as the U.S. dollar
steadied against the yen, but underlying demand for bullion was
seen as robust ahead of major festivals in India.
    * Spot gold was down nearly 0.1 percent at $1,265.51
an ounce at 0053 GMT. It fell 0.6 percent on Wednesday.
    * U.S. gold futures were nearly unchanged at
$1,266.50 an ounce.
    * Demand for bullion is expected to pick up ahead of
festivals in India such as Dhanteras and Diwali, when gold is
traditionally given as a gift.
    * The dollar edged up against the yen early on Thursday
while the euro and sterling held their gains versus the
greenback, with a rise in bond yields supporting the currencies.
    * The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was firm at 98.646.
    * New U.S. single-family home sales unexpectedly rose in
September, pointing to sustained demand for housing even as data
for the prior three months was revised lower. 
    * The European Central Bank is nearly certain to continue
buying bonds beyond its March target and to relax its
constraints on the purchases to ensure it finds enough paper to
buy, central bank sources have told Reuters. 
    * The Bank of Japan is likely to hold off on expanding
stimulus next week despite an expected downgrade in its price
forecast that may show Governor Haruhiko Kuroda won't see
inflation hit his 2 percent target before his tenure ends in
    * Britain escaped a severe economic slowdown in the three
months after the Brexit referendum shock, official figures are
expected to show on Thursday, further diminishing the chance of
a fresh interest rate cut by the Bank of England next week.
    * The Bank of England is not now expected to ease policy
until early 2017, according to economists in a Reuters poll who
almost unanimously said staying in the European Union would be
the best for Britain's long-term trading prospects. 
    * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 1.49 percent to
942.59 tonnes on Wednesday. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
     0830  Britain      Preliminary GDP          Q3 
     1230  U.S.         Durable goods            Sep 
     1230  U.S.         Weekly jobless claims 
     1400  U.S.         Pending homes sales      Sep   

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph