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PRECIOUS-Gold hovers near 5-week high as Fed policy meeting looms

Sunday, 27 Oct 2013 | 8:22 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Gold was hovering near five-week highs on Monday as traders bet the U.S. Federal Reserve would stick with its bullion-friendly stimulus measures at a policy meeting later this week.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold had eased 0.3 percent to $1,348.44 an ounce by 0010 GMT, after posting a near 3-percent gain the week before.

* Fed officials are unlikely to make any shift in monetary policy this week and will continue to buy back bonds at an $85 billion monthly rate as they wait for more evidence of how badly Washington's budget battle has hurt the U.S. economy.

* The central bank's policy-setting committee is to release a statement on its decision on Wednesday, at the end of its two-day meeting.

* Turkey and Kazakhstan raised their gold holdings in September, while Russia's bullion reserves eased, according to the International Monetary Fund.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 4.50 tonnes to 872.02 tonnes on Friday.

* Hedge funds and money managers cut bullish bets in futures and options of U.S. gold markets for the week ended Oct. 1, but they increased their net longs in silver futures, a report by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.

* South Africa's hardline AMCU mining union threatened more strikes at the world's top platinum producers, just weeks after a deal to end an 11-day stoppage over job cuts.

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MARKET NEWS

* Asian stocks got off to an encouraging start on Monday after Wall Street closed at a record high.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0900 Italy Business confidence 1315 U.S. Industrial output 1400 U.S. Pending home sales 1430 U.S. Dallas Fed Texas manufacturing

Precious metals prices 0010 GMT

Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1348.44 -3.84 -0.28 -19.47 Spot Silver 22.53 0.03 +0.13 -25.59 Spot Platinum 1448.74 3.84 +0.27 -5.62 Spot Palladium 740.00 0.03 +0.00 6.94 COMEX GOLD DEC3 1349.00 -3.50 -0.26 -19.50 2895 COMEX SILVER DEC3 22.55 -0.09 -0.39 -25.59 417 Euro/Dollar 1.3803 Dollar/Yen 97.53

COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months

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