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PRECIOUS-Gold edges up as dollar index slumps to 3-yr lows

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Wednesday towards four-month highs hit early in the week, as the U.S. dollar slumped to three-year lows against a basket of currencies.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,341.96 an ounce by 0123 GMT. It touched its strongest since Sept. 8 at $1,344.44 on Monday.

* Spot gold edged down for the first time in five sessions on Tuesday, easing 0.1 percent.

* U.S. gold futures were up 0.4 percent at $1,342 an ounce. 109 square kilometers

* The dollar index was down 0.1 percent at 90.300 , after dropping to its lowest since December, 2014 at 90.113.

* Three sources close to European Central Bank policy-making told Reuters that the ECB is unlikely to ditch a pledge to keep buying bonds at next week's meeting as rate setters need more time to assess the outlook for the economy and the euro.

* The ECB last week signaled a growing appetite for revising its policy message in "early" 2018, and specifically a promise to continue its 2.55 trillion euro money-printing program until inflation heads back to target.

* Asian stocks stepped back from a record high on Wednesday as the region's resource shares were dented by falling oil and commodity prices while digital currencies tumbled on worries about tighter regulations.

* Palladium was up 0.3 percent at $1,097. The metal, which hit a record high of $1,138 an ounce on Monday, fell nearly 3 percent on Tuesday.

* Palladium has had a sustained rally as high demand in the auto industry fueled supply concerns, sending Nymex palladium futures net long positions to record highs.

* Palladium, the hottest property in the precious metals deck last year, is tipped for a record performance in 2018 even among bearish forecasters, but the metal could become a victim of its own success.

* Kazakhstan raised its gold holdings by 5.31 tonnes to 300.98 tonnes in Dec. 2017, IMF data showed

* Polyus , Russia's largest gold producer, on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter sales of $734 million, up 11 percent year on year, on higher production and prices.

* Standard Chartered on Tuesday raised its second half 2018 gold price forecast, taking annual average forecast to $1,324 per ounce from $1,285.

* Canadian gold miner Goldcorp Inc is "done" with mergers and acquisitions and will focus on building new mines at projects it already owns and on improving existing operations, Chief Executive David Garofalo said on Tuesday.

DATA AHEAD (IN GMT)

1415 U.S. Industrial production Dec 1500 U.S. NAHB housing market index Jan

1500 U.S. Senate Banking Committee votes on nomination of Jerome Powell to be chairman of the Federal Reserve

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)