Nov 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Wednesday as the reaction to North Korea's latest missile test was muted, while palladium hovered near the 17-year peak touched in the previous session. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was little changed at $1,294.12 an ounce at 0113 GMT. * U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,293.60. * Palladium dipped 0.2 percent at $1,024.99 an ounce, after hitting its highest since February 2001 at $1,028.70 in the previous session. * North Korea fired what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that landed close to Japan, officials said, with some scientists cautioning that Washington, D.C. could now theoretically be within range of Pyongyang's weapons. * President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the United States "will take care of" the North Korea issue after its latest missile launch, and that the basic U.S. approach to dealing with Pyongyang will not change. * The dollar gained against the yen on Wednesday, lifted by strong U.S. economic data, while the North's missile launch had little immediate impact on currency markets though investors are focused on how the U.S. responds to the test. * U.S. consumer confidence surged to a near 17-year high in November, driven by a robust labor market, while house prices rose sharply in September, which should underpin consumer spending and boost economic growth. * U.S. Senate Republicans rammed forward Trump's tax cut bill on Tuesday in an abrupt, partisan committee vote that set up a full vote by the Senate as soon as Thursday, although some details of the measure remained unsettled. * Jerome Powell, Trump's choice to lead the U.S. Federal Reserve, defended plans to potentially lighten regulation of the financial sector during a controversy-free hearing on his nomination to take over the central bank. * Congress is likely to miss a Dec. 8 deadline for passing legislation funding a wide range of federal government programs through Sept. 30, 2018, kicking the contentious debate into next year, a senior U.S. House of Representatives aide said on Tuesday. * Asian shares rose on Wednesday after Wall Street shot to record peaks amid signs of progress on U.S. tax cuts, upbeat economic data and bank-friendly comments from the would-be head of the Federal Reserve. DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 0745 France Consumer spending Oct 1000 Euro zone Business climate Nov 1300 Germany Consumer prices Nov 1330 U.S. GDP 2nd estimate Q3 1500 U.S. Pending homes sales Oct 1900 U.S. Federal Reserve Beige Book on economic condition (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
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