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PRECIOUS-Gold marks time ahead of Fed meeting; weak U.S. data supports

Monday, 28 Oct 2013 | 8:29 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed on Tuesday, trading near its highest in more than five weeks, as weak U.S. economic data boosted views the Federal Reserve would maintain its stimulus measures to support the economy.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold had edged up 0.1 percent to $1,352.95 an ounce by 0020 GMT. In the previous session, the metal hit its highest since Sept. 20 at $1,361.60.

* U.S. manufacturing output barely rose in September and contracts to buy previously owned homes recorded their largest drop in nearly 3-1/2 years, the latest signs the economy's momentum ebbed as the third quarter ended.

* The Fed begins a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday in which it is widely expected to continue buying back bonds at an $85 billion monthly pace.

* Canadian gold miner Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd is considering selling a minority stake in its Meliadine gold project in the Canadian sub Arctic, according to two sources familiar with the situation.

* Workers at Barrick Gold Corp's suspended Pascua-Lama gold mine will vote by Wednesday on whether to strike, which they say could delay construction of a water management system crucial for the project to be re-activated.

* South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union said its members voted to strike at Impala Platinum , but it would not immediately give the company a 48-hour notice, suggesting a stoppage might still be averted.

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MARKET NEWS

* Asian shares and the dollar fell slightly in early trade on Tuesday ahead of the Fed meeting.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1145 U.S. ICSC weekly chain store sales 1230 U.S. Producer prices 1230 U.S. Retail sales 1300 U.S. S&P/Case-Shiller home price index 1400 U.S. Consumer confidence 1400 U.S. Business inventories Federal Open Market Committee begins two-day meeting on monetary policy

Precious metals prices 0020 GMT

Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1352.95 1.36 +0.10 -19.20 Spot Silver 22.46 -0.01 -0.04 -25.83 Spot Platinum 1462.00 -8.00 -0.54 -4.76 Spot Palladium 740.72 -2.78 -0.37 7.04 COMEX GOLD DEC3 1353.10 0.90 +0.07 -19.26 1281 COMEX SILVER DEC3 22.50 -0.04 -0.19 -25.77 361 Euro/Dollar 1.3783 Dollar/Yen 97.52

COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months

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