March 5, 2013 / 1:15 AM / in 5 years

PRECIOUS-Gold snaps 4-day decline, central bank meetings in focus

SINGAPORE, March 5 (Reuters) - Gold inched up on Tuesday to
snap four sessions of decline, with investors expecting major
central banks to stick to loose monetary policy at meetings this
week, supporting bullion's appeal as a hedge against inflation.
    But the ongoing exodus from exchange-traded gold funds
dragged on prices, with some investors regaining their appetite
for riskier assets such as equities as the global economic
outlook brightens.
    * Spot gold had inched up 0.1 percent to $1,575.60 an
ounce by 0045 GMT.
    * U.S. gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,575.30.
    * Janet Yellen, the U.S. Federal Reserve's influential vice
chair, said on Monday that the central bank's aggressive
monetary stimulus is warranted given how far below its full
potential the economy is operating. 
    * A number of central banks will hold policy meetings this
week, including the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Bank of
Japan, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England. The
BOJ and the ECB are both expected to hold steady, while the BOE
is seen under mounting pressure to relaunch its bond buying
    * Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's biggest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell for the tenth straight
session on March 4 to a seven-month low of 1,253.283 tonnes. 
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    * U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday as investors staged a
late-day rebound, extending a recent trend of buying on dips and
pushing major indexes near all-time highs despite concerns about
growth and China's housing market. 
    * The euro languished near a three-month low on Tuesday as
investors kept a wary eye on political developments in Italy,
while commodity currencies proved resilient with the Australian
dollar bouncing off an eight-month trough.    

 0330 Australia     RBA cash rate                             
 0843 Italy         Markit Adaci Services PMI                 
 0848 France        Markit Services PMI                       
 0853 Germany       Markit Services PMI                       
 0858 Euro zone     Markit Services PMI                       
 1000 Euro zone     Retail sales                              
 1245 U.S.          ICSC weekly chain store sales              
 1500 U.S.          ISM Non-manufacturing PMI                 
 1500 U.S.          IBD/TIPP Consumer confidence              
     Precious metals prices 0045 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1575.60    2.26   +0.14     -5.91
  Spot Silver        28.61    0.06   +0.21     -5.52
  Spot Platinum    1572.49    7.56   +0.48      2.44
  Spot Palladium    716.13    1.66   +0.23      3.49
  COMEX GOLD APR3  1575.30    2.90   +0.18     -6.00         1396
  COMEX SILVER MAY3  28.63    0.13   +0.45     -5.31          430
  Euro/Dollar       1.3027
  Dollar/Yen         93.35
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months

 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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