* Investors seek policy direction after US election, China leadership shift
* Spot gold to hover above $1,678/oz -technicals
* Coming up: euro zone producer prices for Sept at 1000 GMT
(Adds detail, comment; updates prices) SINGAPORE, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Gold traded little changed on Tuesday as investors awaited potential policy spinoffs from the U.S. presidential election, while China's upcoming leadership transition and Greece's strike over a new austerity package also kept sentiment cautious. U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney are engaged in frantic last-minute campaigns in swing states. A Romney victory may weigh on gold prices as hopes for further monetary easing may dim, hurting prospects for bullion.
Investors are also waiting for the once-a-decade leadership transition in China, with expectations for clearer economic policy direction once the new top leadership team is in place after the 18th Communist Party Congress scheduled to open on Thursday. ``Clients are holding back ahead of the U.S. election,'' said Brian Lan, managing director at GoldSilver Central Ptd Ltd in Singapore, adding that the recent price dip in gold has attracted retail investors in the region. Spot gold was trading nearly flat at $1,684.41 an ounce by 0315 GMT, rebounding from a two-month low of $1,672.24 in the previous session. U.S. gold ticked up $1.40 to $1,684.60. Technical analysis suggested spot gold may remain above its support zone of $1,675-$1,678 an ounce during the day, as there is no indication of a break below this zone, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
But some traders said the election result would only have a short-term impact on market sentiment, as it is unlikely to lead to immediate changes in the country's economic prospects. The latest data showed that the expansion in the vast U.S. services sector slowed slightly last month, suggesting growth in the world's largest economy would remain modest, while activity in China's services industry also waned. ``It is more sentiment-related, since the stimulus measures already announced by the Fed can't be taken back and the election result won't change the economy overnight,'' said a Shanghai-based trader. Uncertainty over the euro zone's debt crisis lingered, with Greece's new austerity package greeted by strikes and protests.
Holdings of gold-backed exchange-traded funds stood at 75.074 million ounces by Nov. 4, just a touch off the historical high of 75.086 million ounces marked in late October. Spot silver inched down 0.2 percent to $31.09 an ounce, off $30.64 hit in the previous session, its lowest level since the end of August. ``Silver could test $30 or even below in late November and December, as physical demand is poor and the situation in the euro zone is still quite bad,'' said the trader in Shanghai.
Precious metals prices 0315 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1684.41 0.42 +0.02 7.71 Spot Silver 31.09 -0.06 -0.19 12.28 Spot Platinum 1542.24 3.00 +0.19 10.71 Spot Palladium 609.70 0.73 +0.12 -6.56 COMEX GOLD DEC2 1684.60 1.40 +0.08 7.52 4187 COMEX SILVER DEC2 31.11 -0.02 -0.07 11.43 1746 Euro/Dollar 1.2782 Dollar/Yen 80.19
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Editing by Ed Davies and Joseph Radford)