Gold steady above $1,700/oz, eyes on Fed meeting
Investors are watching progress in the U.S. fiscal talks and potential political uproar in Italy, which could jolt the market where liquidity is starting to thin as traders close books before the end of the year.
The slow improvement in the U.S. job market and prospects for more cash printing by the Federal Reserve kept sentiment buoyant in gold, which has risen about 9 percent this year, mostly on the Fed's stimulus measures.
Investors await a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, after which the central bank is expected to announce fresh bond purchases of $45 billion a month to replace Operation Twist, the Fed's program of buying longer-dated bonds with sale proceeds from shorter date holdings, due to expire at the end of the year.
"Market expectation is that there could be more quantitative easing towards the end of the month, and this will be supportive of gold," said Lynette Tan, an analyst at Philip Futures in Singapore.
But Tan said gold was likely to remain trapped in a range between $1,680 and $1,750 an ounce as many investors have moved to the sidelines watching the progress of talks in Washington to avert the "fiscal cliff", $600 billion worth of
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