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PRECIOUS-Gold steadies near 6-week high ahead of Fed chair confirmation

* Fed nominee Powell seen supporting dovish policy

* Dollar index edges off Monday's two-month low

* GRAPHIC-Plat/palladium ratio: http://tmsnrt.rs/1QjSZAC

(Updates prices) LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Gold steadied below the previous day's six-week high on Tuesday as traders awaited a confirmation hearing for U.S. Federal Reserve chair nominee Jerome Powell, and a possible vote on U.S. tax legislation later this week. In prepared remarks for the hearing released by the Fed on Monday, Powell defended the central bank's use of its crisis-fighting powers, suggesting a broad extension of current Chair Janet Yellen's stance on monetary policy.

Spot gold stood at $1,294.73 an ounce at 1440 GMT,

little changed from $1,294.44 late on Monday. Earlier that day it hit a peak of $1,299.13, its highest since mid-October.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down 30

cents an ounce at $1,294.10. Gold is struggling to find impetus for a break higher or lower, having stuck to its narrowest trading range of any month since late 2005 so far in November. While Powell is expected to stay on the policy course laid out by Yellen, the upcoming U.S. tax vote and any further tensions over North Korea might create some activity in the gold market, Saxo Bank's head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen said. "Overall it really depends on whether these or other events manage to weaken the dollar further," he said. "Without that gold remains stuck, with the underlying bid from diversification and tail-end risk protection strong enough to keep the downside risk limited." The dollar held near a two-month low on Tuesday as traders waited for Powell's confirmation hearing. The U.S. currency has also come under pressure in recent days from concerns over the progress of expected U.S. tax reforms. President Donald Trump's drive to overhaul the U.S. tax code headed toward a new drama in the Senate on Tuesday, with a pair of Republican lawmakers demanding changes to the party's tax bill in exchange for help in moving it forward.

Among other precious metals, silver was flat at $17.03 an ounce, while platinum was up 0.2 percent at $949.10 and palladium was 1 percent higher at $1,016.80.

Platinum has broadly maintained a historically unusual discount to sister metal palladium since late September. Platinum looks oversold, HSBC said in a note on Monday, because greater investor and jewelry demand has the potential to support prices while concerns over demand from carmakers for use in catalytic converters could be exaggerated. Palladium has surged on structural deficits caused by limited mine supply and automotive demand, it added, but the rally is vulnerable to profit taking. "Investor demand has figured prominently in the rally and any reduction in this interest may lead to corrections as speculative investors take profits," it said.

(Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Blair/David Goodman/Alexander Smith)