PRECIOUS-Gold prices flat as Fed minutes show few tapering clues
* Mixed view among Fed officials on time of stimulus cut
* Gold trade choppy in light New York afternoon session
* Rising US Treasury yields pressure precious metals, S&P
(Adds trader comment, Fed minutes, second byline, dateline, updates market activity) NEW YORK/LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Gold was largely flat on Wednesday as traders digested the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve policy meeting which showed few clues about the timing to scale back its bond-buying stimulus. Trading was choppy in a less-liquid afternoon session in New York as the U.S. central bank's statement showed a few Fed policymakers thought last month it would soon be time to slow the pace of their bond buying "somewhat" but others counselled patience. Investors are anxiously waiting to see when the Fed will start to slow its $85 billion monthly asset purchases, with most predicting September as the beginning of the end of the quantitative easing program. Gold prices seesawed after the Fed minutes, largely tracking movements in U.S. equities. A rise in U.S. Treasury yields, seen as a gauge of interest rates, appears to weigh down on precious metals and equities across the board. "The Fed minutes didn't disclose any information about the anticipated tapering. Gold was initially helped by short covering but its rally faded with the bond yields rising," said Frank McGhee, head precious metals trader at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC. Spot gold eased 25 cents to $1,370.42 an ounce by 3:24 p.m. EDT (1924 GMT). U.S. Comex gold futures for December delivery settled down $2.50 an ounce at $1,370.10, with trading volume about 20 percent below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed. Among other precious metals, silver was last up 0.4 percent at $23.09 an ounce. Platinum edged up 0.1 percent to $1,514.49 an ounce, while palladium eased 0.2 percent at $745.22 an ounce.
3:24 PM EDT LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL US Gold DEC 1370.10 -2.50 -0.2 1359.20 1378.90 137,846 US Silver SEP 22.963 -0.108 -0.5 22.755 23.360 48,872 US Plat OCT 1519.10 -6.40 -0.4 1506.50 1525.50 5,981 US Pall SEP 746.90 -2.75 -0.4 741.30 750.65 4,745 Gold 1370.42 -0.25 0.0 1360.40 1378.20 Silver 23.090 0.100 0.4 22.790 23.340 Platinum 1514.49 1.89 0.1 1510.25 1522.00 Palladium 745.22 -1.78 -0.2 744.50 749.00 TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG US Gold 146,975 188,455 189,676 23.25 0.03 US Silver 57,843 51,821 53,048 33.95 -0.16 US Platinum 6,021 9,313 12,514 20.68 0.00 US Palladium 7,600 4,329 5,305
(Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; Editing by Jan Harvey, William Hardy, David Evans, Dale Hudson and Chizu Nomiyama)