PRECIOUS-Gold sits tight, awaits Fed stimulus outlook
SINGAPORE, July 31 (Reuters) - Gold held tight on Wednesday, heading for its best monthly gain since January 2012, as traders hope for a strong cue from the U.S. Federal Reserve on when it will start scaling back stimulus measures.
* Spot gold was down 0.08 percent at $1,325.59 an ounce by 0018 GMT, after falling a tad in the previous session. U.S. gold gained about $2 to $1,326.00.
* Bullion has gained nearly 8 percent in July after the Fed assured financial markets it would only start phasing out its monetary stimulus when it was sure the U.S. economy was strong enough to stand on its own.
* The Fed will release a statement Wednesday afternoon after its two-day monthly policy meeting. Traders will be looking for clues as to when the U.S. central bank will start tapering its $85 billion monthly bond purchases.
* U.S. GDP data and a private jobs report will also be released on Wednesday, which will help gauge the strength of the economy.
* The top U.S. securities regulator said on Tuesday she was examining insider trading rules for commodities, further stepping up scrutiny of Wall Street's role in trading anything from oil to metals.
* David Einhorn, head of hedge fund Greenlight Capital, said his optimism about gold "has not changed" and that his investment portfolio now had an equal exposure to gold miners and gold bullion. He said the position was not hedged.
* Russian gold production increased by 12.4 percent in the first five months of 2013 compared with the same period last year, the industry lobby said on Tuesday.
* India's imports of gold have halted since July 22, sending premiums for scarce stocks soaring, as traders in the world's biggest bullion buyer try to puzzle out new central bank rules that tie imports to export volumes.
* Gold prices in India could rise past their highest level in more than 15 weeks hit on Tuesday, helped by a weakness in the local currency, traders said.
* For the top stories on metals and other news, click , or
* The dollar eked out modest gains on Tuesday, off its five-week low.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0600 Germany Retail sales 0755 Germany Unemployment rate 0900 Euro zone Inflation 0900 Euro zone Unemployment rate 1215 U.S. ADP employment report 1230 U.S. Q2 GDP Advance 1345 U.S. Chicago PMI 1800 Federal Open Market Committee announces outcome of policy meeting
Precious metals prices 0018 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1325.59 -1.10 -0.08 -20.84 Spot Silver 19.74 0.03 +0.15 -34.81 Spot Platinum 1430.74 -3.76 -0.26 -6.79 Spot Palladium 727.97 0.70 +0.10 5.20 COMEX GOLD AUG3 1326.00 2.00 +0.15 -20.87 280 COMEX SILVER SEP3 19.71 0.03 +0.13 -34.98 369 Euro/Dollar 1.3265 Dollar/Yen 97.89
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin)