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PRECIOUS-Gold dips as dollar gains ahead of Fed statement

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Gold edged lower early Wednesday as the dollar firmed with investors awaiting hints on a U.S rate hike following the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,267.80 per ounce at 0106 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures for December delivery dipped 0.1 percent to $1,268.80.

* The dollar index , which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was up 0.1 percent.

* U.S. consumer confidence jumped to a near 17-year high in October, with households upbeat about the labor market and business conditions, which could underpin consumer spending and boost the economy in the final three months of the year.

* The Fed is scheduled to release its statement following its meeting on Wednesday at 2 p.m. EDT.

* Investors are also awaiting the naming of the next Fed chair likely on Thursday, the Bank of England policy meeting on Thursday and more data, including U.S. payrolls figures on Friday.

* A driver in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path alongside the Hudson River in New York City on Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring about a dozen others in what authorities said was an act of terrorism.

* The United States is quietly pursuing direct diplomacy with North Korea, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's public assertion that such talks are a waste of time.

* Asian shares looked set to extend their gains into a fourth straight day on Wednesday on the back of solid economic growth, while oil prices were on a bull run on hopes of an extension of output cuts by major oil producers.

* Catalonia's ousted leader Carles Puigdemont agreed on Tuesday to a snap election called by Spain's central government when it took control of the region to stop it breaking away, but he said the fight for independence would go on.

* South Africa's Impala Platinum (Implats) said on Tuesday first-quarter platinum production fell 6.6 percent due to a stock buildup following scheduled furnace maintenance at its Impala and Zimplats operations.

* The U.S. Mint sold 15,500 ounces of American Eagle gold coins in October, up 34.8 percent from the previous month, according to the latest data.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 1100 U.S. MBA Mortgage Applications survey weekly

1215 U.S. ADP National Employment Oct 1345 U.S. Markit Mfg PMI Final Oct 1400 U.S. ISM Manufacturing PMI Oct

(Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan)