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PRECIOUS-Gold set for second weekly gain on U.S. stimulus hopes

Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 | 8:18 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Gold was hovering near a one-month peak on Friday and looked set to end higher for a second straight week on hopes that weak U.S. data would deter the Federal Reserve from scaling back its stimulus measures this year.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold had eased 0.02 percent to $1,345.55 an ounce by 0002 GMT. The metal, which has gained over 2 percent this week, hit $1,351.61 in the previous session - its highest since Sept. 20.

* The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell less than expected last week, while U.S. manufacturing grew at its slowest pace in a year in early October, data showed on Thursday.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 1.80 tonnes to 876.52 tonnes on Thursday.

* Gold should stay mired at lower levels in 2014 after posting its first annual loss in more than a decade this year when investors, emboldened by an improving global economy, sliced holdings, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday.

* Palladium and platinum are poised to outperform other precious metals next year, with palladium seen as a better bet as hopes for an economic recovery increase anticipated industrial demand, another Reuters poll showed.

* A government mediator has granted South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union permission to call a strike against Impala Platinum, the world's second largest producer of the precious metal said.

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MARKET NEWS

* Asian shares edged up on Friday and the dollar was hemmed in near a two-year low against the euro.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0800 Germany Ifo business climate 0800 Euro zone M3 money supply 1230 U.S. durable goods orders 1400 U.S. wholesale inventories

Precious metals prices 0002 GMT

Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1345.55 -0.99 -0.07 -19.65 Spot Silver 22.71 0.05 +0.22 -25.00 Spot Platinum 1444.99 -0.11 -0.01 -5.86 Spot Palladium 743.47 -1.53 -0.21 7.44 COMEX GOLD DEC3 1345.80 -4.50 -0.33 -19.69 756 COMEX SILVER DEC3 22.74 -0.09 -0.38 -24.98 221 Euro/Dollar 1.3799 Dollar/Yen 97.37

COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Joseph Radford)