* Spot gold was nearly flat at $1,311.66 an ounce by 0013 GMT.
* The metal has lost about 3 percent since Oct. 28 and has logged its longest losing run since mid-May when it dropped 8 percent in seven days.
* U.S. service-sector business activity picked up in October and firms took on workers despite a partial government shutdown, but new order growth slowed for a second straight month, an industry report showed on Tuesday.
* Investors are closely watching U.S. data as the Fed has tied any stimulus tapering to a strong economic recovery and improvements in the labour market.
* The London Bullion Market Association is considering whether to partner with an exchange to produce its gold-lending reference rate to ensure it can meet tighter rules coming in on financial benchmarks, its new head said.
* Gold premiums in India halved on Tuesday from last week because of unusually muted demand during the festival season and as supply was set to improve after some importing agencies began purchasing for domestic use.
* South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers will consider a revised wage offer from Northam Platinum, the world's fifth largest platinum producer, to end a strike by over 7,000 workers now in its third day.
* Asian stock markets got off to a tentative start on Wednesday after upbeat U.S. data fanned speculation the Fed could start slowing its asset buying as early as next month, lifting bond yields and the dollar.