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PRECIOUS-Gold inches down as dollar gains amid Fed chair speculation

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on Wednesday, pressured by a firmer dollar amid speculation over who will be the next U.S. Federal Reserve chief.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,274.91 an ounce by 0053 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures for December delivery fell about 0.2 percent to $1,276.30 per ounce.

* The dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was up 0.2 percent at 93.992.

* Asian shares trod water in early trade on Wednesday, while U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar got a lift following a report Republican senators were leaning towards John Taylor to be the next head of the Fed.

* U.S. President Donald Trump used a luncheon with Senate Republicans on Tuesday to get their views on who he should tap to be the next head of the central bank, according to senators who attended.

* A source familiar with the matter said Trump polled the Republicans on whether they would prefer Stanford University economist John Taylor or current Fed Governor Jerome Powell for the job, and more senators preferred Taylor.

* Tensions among Republicans about President Trump boiled over on Tuesday as two senators accused Trump of debasing U.S. politics and the country's standing abroad, a rebellion that could portend trouble for his legislative agenda.

* Investor expectations for long-term inflation in the euro zone rose to a seven-month high on Tuesday, an encouraging sign for the European Central Bank as it prepares to step back from its extraordinary monetary stimulus.

* The ECB is likely to decide the fate of its 2.3 trillion euro stimulus scheme on Thursday in one of the ECB's most keenly anticipated policy meetings for months.

* Private sector growth across the euro zone slowed more sharply than predicted this month, a survey showed on Tuesday, but activity remained strong even though firms increased prices at the steepest rate in over six years.

* The likelihood of a disorderly Brexit has crept higher but that won't deter the Bank of England from raising rates next week for the first time in a decade, even though many economists believe that would be a mistake, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

0800 Germany Ifo business climate Oct 0830 Britain Preliminary GDP Q3 1230 U.S. Durable goods Sep 1300 U.S. Monthly home price index Aug 1400 U.S. New home sales Sep

(Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)