December 18, 2012 / 12:41 AM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold flat as investors watch U.S. fiscal talks

SINGAPORE, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Gold traded nearly flat on
Tuesday, with many investors stood on the sidelines in the
penultimate week of the year, watching U.S. lawmakers inch
towards a deal to avert fiscal calamity.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was little changed at $1,696.20 an ounce
by 0026 GMT.
    * U.S. gold traded nearly flat at $1,697.90.
    * Hopes rose on Monday that Washington would be able to step
back from the "fiscal cliff" as President Barack Obama and
Republican John Boehner inched toward a deal that would prevent
steep tax hikes and spending cuts that could push the economy
into recession. 
    *  The U.S. Federal Reserve's latest policy actions are
unlikely to do much to bring down unemployment and carry a
"material" risk of sparking inflation, one of the U.S. central
bank's most hawkish policymakers said on Monday. 
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, inched down to 1,350.519
tonnes on Dec 17, but still held near a record high of 1,353.346
tonnes hit earlier in the month. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * The S&P 500 ended at its highest level in almost two
months on Monday. 
    * The yen steadied in early Asian trade on Tuesday after
skidding to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar in over a
year and a half in the previous session, while the euro held its
ground. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
 0030 Australia  RBA minutes
 1245 US         ICSC/GS weekly chain store sales
 1500 US         NAHB Index for December
 1815 US         Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher speaks
        
    PRICES
    
     Precious metals prices 0026 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1696.20   -1.45   -0.09      8.47
  Spot Silver        32.22   -0.04   -0.12     16.36
  Spot Platinum    1604.74    2.25   +0.14     15.20
  Spot Palladium    695.75   -0.72   -0.10      6.63
  COMEX GOLD FEB3  1697.90   -0.30   -0.02      8.37         1191
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  32.32    0.03   +0.11     15.76          174
  Euro/Dollar       1.3161
  Dollar/Yen         83.86
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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