November 1, 2017 / 4:16 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold edges higher; Fed statement in focus

    * Fed statement expected on Wednesday at 2 p.m. EDT
    * Palladium hits over two-week high
    * GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns:

 (Adds quotes, recasts throughout, updates prices)
    By Vijaykumar Vedala
    Nov 1 (Reuters) - Gold inched higher on Wednesday as market
participants awaited a statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve
for hints on the central bank's monetary policy stance following
its two-day meeting.
    Markets are also keeping a close track on the naming of the
next Fed chair, the Bank of England's policy meeting on Thursday
and U.S. payrolls data on Friday.
    Spot gold        rose 0.3 percent to $1,275.36 per ounce at
0758 GMT. 
    U.S. gold futures         for December delivery were up 0.5
percent at $1,276.50.
    Gold dipped in the early Asian hours but interest out of
China provided some support later, analysts said.
    "Shanghai saw a heightened premium around $9 as a result of
lower spot price and physical demand out of the region acted to
restrict further declines leading into European hours," MKS PAMP
trader Sam Laughlin said in a note.     
    The terrorist attack in New York City on Tuesday, wherein a
man driving a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and
cyclists killing eight people, prompted some risk-aversion
demand, said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with OANDA.
    The Fed is scheduled to release its statement following its
meeting on Wednesday at 2 p.m. EDT.
    "A rate hike in December is largely priced into markets.
However, investors are looking for the Fed stance on monetary
policy: in particular, the inflation outlook and how the Federal
Reserve wishes to respond," said John Sharma, an economist with
National Australia Bank. 
    "In other words, whether they are likely to adopt a 'wait
and see' mode, or get ahead of the curve. The latter will, of
course, be negative for gold." 
    Meanwhile, Fed Governor Jerome Powell, seen as more dovish
than other contenders for the post, has been favored to be named
as the next Fed chair by Trump on Thursday.             
    In the wider markets, the dollar was flat against a basket
of currencies       , while Asian shares hit a 10-year high on
Wednesday on the back of solid economic growth globally.
    Among other precious metals, silver        climbed 1.2
percent to $16.88 an ounce. Platinum        was up 1.4 percent
at $928.40 an ounce. 
    Palladium       , which scaled an over two-week high at
$995.90 per ounce earlier in the day, was up 1.3 percent at
$992.47 an ounce.

 (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas
Mohan and Gopakumar Warrier)
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