PRECIOUS-Gold edges up as dollar eases ahead of ECB meeting

    Oct 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched up on Thursday, after
marking a 2-1/2 week low in the previous session, with the
dollar easing ahead of a key European Central Bank meeting later
in day.
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1 percent at $1,278.61 an ounce
by 0042 GMT. It hit its lowest since Oct. 6 at $1272 an ounce in
the previous session.
    * U.S. gold futures         for December delivery rose 0.1
percent to $1,280.20 an ounce.
    * The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of major currencies, was down 0.1 percent at
    * Asian stocks stalled on Thursday, weighed as Wall Street
shares pulled back from record highs, while the euro stretched
gains ahead of the ECB policy meeting, at which it could take a
major step away from accommodative policy.
    * President Donald Trump is unlikely to pick economic
adviser Gary Cohn as his nominee for Federal Reserve chairman
because Cohn is playing a crucial role in the White House tax
reform effort, a senior administration official said on
    * U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said on
Wednesday that the sweeping Republican tax-cut plan is entering
its toughest phase yet as lobbyists swarm Congress to try to
protect valuable tax breaks.                  
    * The Bank of Canada held interest rates steady on
Wednesday, as expected, even as it said the economy was at or
near full capacity, signaling it was willing to let the economy
run a little bit hot amid uncertainty over NAFTA renegotiations.
    * Worldwide debt has risen to a record $226 trillion - more
than three times global annual economic output - and firms in
more countries are struggling to service loans, a study shows,
just as key central banks prepare to end super-cheap credit
    * Japan's central bank is set to roughly maintain its price
forecasts at its policy meeting next week and blame stagnant
inflation on factors like corporate efforts to boost
productivity, signalling that it will hold off on expanding
stimulus for the time being.                 
    0600  Germany      GfK consumer sentiment           Nov
    0800  Euro zone    Money supply and lending data    Sep
    1145  European Central Bank announces interest rate decision
    1230  ECB President Mario Draghi holds news conference
    1230  U.S.         Weekly jobless claims
    1400  U.S.         Pending homes sales              Sep

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph