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PRECIOUS-Gold steady ahead of U.S. Fed policy decision

    Jan 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Wednesday
ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision due
later in the day and as investors awaited a stimulus package in
the world's largest economy.
            
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was little changed at $1,849.76 per ounce
by 0031 GMT. U.S. gold futures        eased 0.1% to $1,848.60.
    * The Fed will announce the verdict of its two-day policy
meeting on Wednesday and it is expected to stand pat on policy.
    * Democrats in the U.S. Senate will move forward on U.S.
President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan
without Republican support if necessary, Senate Democratic
leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday.             
    * The Biden administration will purchase 200 million more
coronavirus vaccines and funnel more to states now, a senior
administration official said on Tuesday.             
    * The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised its
forecast for global economic growth in 2021 and said the
coronavirus-triggered downturn last year would be nearly a full
percentage point less severe than expected.            
    * U.S. consumer confidence rose moderately in January while
lingering concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic led to a further
deterioration in households' perceptions of the labor
market.            
    * China's net gold imports via Hong Kong in December rose
for a second straight month, although imports for the year
plunged 85% as the coronavirus dealt a blow to consumption of
the metal.            
    * Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust      , fell 0.1% to
1,172.38 tonnes on Tuesday.         
    * Silver        was flat at $25.43 an ounce, platinum       
rose 0.1% to $1,099.68, and palladium        gained 0.1% at
$2,326.30.
    
DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
1330  US   Durable Goods     Dec
1900  U.S. Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee
announces its decision on interest rates followed by statement
1930  U.S. Federal Reserve chairperson holds a news conference

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren
Daniel)
  
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