PRECIOUS-Gold in tight range as stimulus uncertainty weighs
SINGAPORE, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Gold was trading in a tight range early on Wednesday amid lingering uncertainty over the outlook for U.S. economic stimulus and lacklustre physical demand.
* Spot gold had risen 0.1 percent to $1,324.26 an ounce by 0018 GMT, extending slight gains from the day before after three days of losses.
* U.S. home prices slowed their rate of gains in July and a dip in consumer confidence this month underscored the potential for higher borrowing costs and a sluggish economy to dent a housing market recovery. An influential Federal Reserve policymaker said he "certainly wouldn't want to rule out" a reduction in the U.S. central bank's bond-buying programme later this year, adding the Fed expected slower economic growth now than it did in June.
* Physical demand in Asia remained weak heading into a peak wedding and festival season in India and China, although there was some bargain hunting on Tuesday when prices fell towards $1,300.
* India's gold jewellery exports climbed in August from the previous month on improving U.S. demand even though exporters faced tight supplies of the metal on central bank steps to tackle the country's rising trade deficit.
* Members of South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union at Anglo American Platinum will hold a strike to protest job cuts, its president Joseph Mathunjwa said.
* Fears that an expected strike in South Africa's platinum mines could cut supply of the metal at a time that demand could rise due to a potential recovery in the European diesel-car market sent metal holdings in the world's top platinum exchange-traded funds to an all-time high.
* Barrick Gold Corp, whose shares have been beaten down in recent months by a series of writedowns and project delays, is in talks on further asset sales, with the focus on divesting smaller, higher-cost mines, its chief executive said.
* For the top stories on metals and other news, click , or
* Stocks on Wall Street ended lower on Tuesday due to a lack of clarity on U.S. fiscal and monetary policies, while major currencies held steady.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0600 Germany GfK consumer sentiment 1230 U.S. durable goods orders 1400 U.S. new home sales 1600 Federal Reserve issues quarterly flow of funds accounts
Precious metals prices 0018 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1324.26 1.67 +0.13 -20.92 Spot Silver 21.74 0.06 +0.28 -28.20 Spot Platinum 1424.50 6.20 +0.44 -7.20 Spot Palladium 719.47 2.47 +0.34 3.97 COMEX GOLD DEC3 1324.60 8.30 +0.63 -20.96 2949 COMEX SILVER DEC3 21.77 0.18 +0.85 -28.17 479 Euro/Dollar 1.3473 Dollar/Yen 98.75
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Joseph Radford)