PRECIOUS-Gold rises on surprise drop in US growth, Fed
* U.S. 4th-qtr GDP down 0.1 pct, boosts gold buying
* Fed says economic growth stalled, pullback likely temporary,
(New updates throughout, changes dateline, byline) NEW YORK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Wednesday after data showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter, and stayed higher as the Federal Reserve left in place its bond-buying stimulus plan. The metal's inflation-hedge appeal received a boost after the Fed in its January policy statement repeated a pledge to keep buying securities until the outlook for employment "improves substantially." It also said that economic growth had stalled but indicated the pullback was likely temporary. Gold was also bolstered by hopes that the Fed would keep its monetary policy loose for a long time, after the Commerce Department said gross domestic product fell at a 0.1 percent annual rate, its weakest performance since it emerged from recession in 2009. "The market had extended gains ahead of the Fed on the unexpected GDP number," said Frank McGhee, head precious metals trader at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC. "Most of what's in the Fed statement has already been baked into the price, and that put a market susceptible for a correction back to the downside," McGhee said. Spot gold was up 0.7 percent at $1,675.76 an ounce by 2:55 (1955 GMT), having risen as much as 1.1 percent to a one-week high of $1,682.90 an ounce after the Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement. U.S. COMEX gold futures for February delivery settled up $19.10 at $1,679.90 an ounce, with trading volume about 20 percent above the 250-day average due to the February-April rollover ahead of February's first-notice day Friday. Among other precious metals, silver followed gold higher, rising 1.9 percent to $31.98 an ounce. Platinum rose 0.3 percent to $1,680.74, while palladium eased 0.1 percent at $746.72, having hit a fresh 16-month high of $757.22 an ounce.
2:55 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL US Gold FEB 1679.90 19.10 1.2 1661.80 1683.20 38,589 US Silver MAR 32.177 0.993 3.2 31.250 32.300 52,106 US Plat APR 1689.30 10.40 0.6 1678.70 1693.60 8,695 US Pall MAR 751.40 1.65 0.2 744.90 760.50 7,949Gold 1675.76 12.31 0.7 1663.35 1683.39 Silver 31.980 0.600 1.9 31.280 32.230 Platinum 1680.74 5.50 0.3 1681.50 1688.49 Palladium 746.72 -0.75 -0.1 745.27 757.22TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG US Gold 215,110 163,437 171,939 13.66 0.19 US Silver 57,903 42,928 51,835 20.27 -1.54 US Platinum 8,850 19,419 10,966 16.44 -0.01 US Palladium 8,673 3,570 4,668
(Additional reporting by Clara Denina in London; Editing by Richard Chang)