PRECIOUS-Gold slips on firmer equities, dollar amid Fed chair speculation

    * Spot gold may test support at $1,271/oz - technicals
    * Dollar supported by Fed chair speculation
    * Markets await ECB meeting on Thursday

 (Updates prices)
    By Apeksha Nair
    Oct 25 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower on Wednesday,
pressured by stronger equities and a firmer dollar amid
speculation over who will be the next U.S. Federal Reserve
    Spot gold        was down 0.2 percent at $1,273.70 an ounce
by 0633 GMT and U.S. gold futures         for December delivery
were 0.2 percent lower at $1,275.20 per ounce.
    "Gold fell overnight, and continues to point south this
morning as market appetite improves on better Wall Street prints
amid stronger-than-expected corporate earnings results," said
OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan.
    Asian shares inched higher on Wednesday, while U.S. Treasury
yields and the dollar got a lift following a report that
Republican senators were leaning towards John Taylor to be the
next Federal Reserve chief.                         
    "Moreover, the strengthening dollar on news of rising
probability for John Taylor to be the next Fed chair is a key
driver for softening gold prices into the week ahead," Gan said.
    U.S. President Donald Trump used a lunch with Senate
Republicans on Tuesday to get their views on who he should tap
to be the next leader of the Fed, according to senators who
    A source familiar with the matter said Trump polled the
Republicans on whether they would prefer Stanford University
economist Taylor or current Fed Governor Jerome Powell for the
job, and more senators preferred Taylor.
    Taylor is seen as a hawkish candidate who would prefer
higher interest rates in the United States. 
    Market participants are widely anticipating one more
interest rate hike this year.
    Higher rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields
up, adding pressure and denting the greenback-denominated,
non-yielding gold's appeal.
    Benchmark Treasury yields climbed to their highest in more
than five months on Tuesday, with robust earnings adding to
overall risk appetite.            
    Spot gold may test a support at $1,271 per ounce, with a
good chance of breaking below this level and falling more
towards the Oct. 6 low of $1,260.16, Reuters technicals analyst
Wang Tao said.             
    Meanwhile, investors were also looking ahead to a European
Central Bank meeting on Thursday, where the bank is expected to 
announce a reduction in its monthly bond purchases.
    "Should the central bank surprise with a somewhat more
aggressive tightening stance, funds could use the opportunity to
liquidate some recent length and provide gold with an element of
support," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.
    In other precious metals, silver        slipped 0.2 percent
to $16.90 an ounce.
    Platinum        was down 0.2 percent at $918.40 an ounce,
while palladium        was 0.4 percent lower at $958.43 an

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford and Subhranshu Sahu)