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PRECIOUS-Gold near 4-week highs on U.S. stimulus bets

Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 | 8:51 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Gold was trading near its highest in four weeks on Wednesday after tepid U.S. jobs data bolstered views that the Federal Reserve will continue stimulus policies supportive of bullion prices.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold eased 0.04 percent to $1,339.44 an ounce by 0025 GMT, after rallying nearly 2 percent in the previous session to $1,344.46 - the highest since Sept. 20.

* U.S. gold was trading near its three-week high of $1,344.70.

* U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 148,000 workers in September, the Labor Department said on Tuesday, suggesting a loss of momentum in the economy that will likely add to the Fed's caution in deciding when to trim its $85 billion monthly bond purchases.

* Most U.S. primary dealers polled by Reuters on Tuesday believe the Fed will not start cutting its monthly bond purchases until March of next year and said the recent government shutdown and standoff over raising the U.S. debt ceiling had a significant impact on the Fed's timing.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 6.60 tonnes to 878.32 tonnes on Tuesday.

* Gold premiums in India stayed near record levels on Tuesday due to rising domestic demand and scant supplies as exporters get priority over shipments.

* Goldcorp said it has secured the environmental permit it needs to progress with its copper and gold El Morro project in the north of Chile.

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MARKET NEWS

* The dollar was stuck near a two-year low against the euro on Wednesday after disappointing U.S. jobs data.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0645 France Business climate 1230 U.S. Import/export prices 1300 U.S. FHFA home price index 1400 Euro zone Consumer confidence 1400 U.S. Employment trend index

Precious metals prices 0025 GMT

Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1339.44 -0.60 -0.04 -20.01 Spot Silver 22.72 0.09 +0.40 -24.97 Spot Platinum 1445.74 1.64 +0.11 -5.81 Spot Palladium 749.47 -1.53 -0.20 8.30 COMEX GOLD DEC3 1339.80 -2.80 -0.21 -20.05 2078 COMEX SILVER DEC3 22.75 -0.04 -0.20 -24.95 675 Euro/Dollar 1.3778 Dollar/Yen 98.15

COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Ed Davies)