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PRECIOUS-Gold poised to snap four-month winning streak

SINGAPORE, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Wednesday but was still poised to end a four-month winning streak with the biggest one-month decline since May, as investors awaited an important U.S. employment report. Trading volumes were thin after Hurricane Sandy pounded the U.S. East Coast.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold inched up 0.1 percent to $1,711.09 an ounce by 0025 GMT, on course for a monthly drop of more than 3 percent, its biggest one-month decline since May after four months of consecutive gains.

* U.S. gold traded nearly flat at $1,711.90.

* Trading in commodities may stay subdued as much of the eastern United States focused on cleanup from Hurricane Sandy, and traders were waiting for the key U.S. payrolls data later in the week. Economists expected job growth to have picked up slightly in October, but not enough to prevent the unemployment rate from rising off a four-year low.

* At a bond sale on Tuesday, Italy's five and 10-year borrowing costs fell to their lowest since May 2011, as big redemptions and a recent cheapening in its debt on fears of political instability lifted demand.

* Spain fell deeper into recession in the third quarter and prices rose sharply in October, piling pressure on the government to revive a paralysed economy as it stalls over requesting aid.

* South African police fired rubber bullets and tear gas on Tuesday at striking Amplats miners who were protesting against a union-brokered deal to end a six-week wildcat walkout at the top platinum producer.

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MARKET NEWS

* The yen drifted off a one-week high against the dollar on Wednesday, thanks to a general improvement in risk appetite, paring gains made after the Bank of Japan balked at delivering bolder action to kickstart growth.

* The U.S. stock market was closed for a second straight day on Tuesday as cash equity trading was cancelled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

DATA/EVENTS

0500 Japan Construction orders Sep 0700 Germany Retail sales Sep

1000 Euro zone Inflation Oct

1000 Euro zone Unemployment rate Sep 1345 U.S. Chicago PMI Oct

Euro zone finance ministers hold conference call to discuss Greece

PRICES Precious metals prices 0025 GMT

Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1711.09 2.21 +0.13 9.42 Spot Silver 31.86 0.05 +0.16 15.06 Spot Platinum 1551.74 4.24 +0.27 11.40 Spot Palladium 594.50 1.00 +0.17 -8.89 COMEX GOLD DEC2 1711.90 -0.20 -0.01 9.26 2109 COMEX SILVER DEC2 31.92 0.10 +0.31 14.33 437 Euro/Dollar 1.2960 Dollar/Yen 79.59

COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months

(Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Ken Wills)