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PRECIOUS-Gold treads water after 7-day losing streak on stimulus doubts

Tuesday, 5 Nov 2013 | 7:25 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Gold was struggling to shake off its longest losing streak in nearly six months as doubts persisted over when the U.S. Federal Reserve would begin scaling back its stimulus measures.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was nearly flat at $1,311.66 an ounce by 0013 GMT.

* The metal has lost about 3 percent since Oct. 28 and has logged its longest losing run since mid-May when it dropped 8 percent in seven days.

* U.S. service-sector business activity picked up in October and firms took on workers despite a partial government shutdown, but new order growth slowed for a second straight month, an industry report showed on Tuesday.

* Investors are closely watching U.S. data as the Fed has tied any stimulus tapering to a strong economic recovery and improvements in the labour market.

* The London Bullion Market Association is considering whether to partner with an exchange to produce its gold-lending reference rate to ensure it can meet tighter rules coming in on financial benchmarks, its new head said.

* Gold premiums in India halved on Tuesday from last week because of unusually muted demand during the festival season and as supply was set to improve after some importing agencies began purchasing for domestic use.

* South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers will consider a revised wage offer from Northam Platinum, the world's fifth largest platinum producer, to end a strike by over 7,000 workers now in its third day.

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MARKET NEWS

* Asian stock markets got off to a tentative start on Wednesday after upbeat U.S. data fanned speculation the Fed could start slowing its asset buying as early as next month, lifting bond yields and the dollar.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0858 Euro zone Markit Services PMI 1000 Euro zone Retail sales 1100 Germany industrial orders 1500 U.S. leading indicators

Precious metals prices 0013 GMT

Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1311.66 0.67 +0.05 -21.67 Spot Silver 21.64 -0.01 -0.05 -28.53 Spot Platinum 1447.99 0.25 +0.02 -5.67 Spot Palladium 749.22 2.75 +0.37 8.27 COMEX GOLD DEC3 1311.60 3.50 +0.27 -21.73 694 COMEX SILVER DEC3 21.69 0.05 +0.23 -28.45 165 Euro/Dollar 1.3473 Dollar/Yen 98.44

COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months

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