Gold Steady Ahead of Fed; Stimulus Outlook in Focus
January 28, 2014 3:13 PM EST
* Spot gold had risen 0.03 percent to $1,256.79 an ounce by 0013 GMT, after dropping 1 percent on Monday and retreating sharply from a two-month high.
* The U.S. central bank begins its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, with a statement expected on Wednesday.
* An improving economy prompted the Fed to cut its bond-buying stimulus by $10 billion last month, and the bank is widely expected to reduce by the same amount at this week's gathering.
* The lifting of the stimulus measures would dim gold's appeal as an inflation-hedge.
* China's 2013 gold imports from Hong Kong more than doubled from the previous year to reach a record of more than 1,000 tonnes as a sharp fall in prices led to unprecedented demand.
* Platinum rose as government-brokered talks between South Africa's AMCU union and the world's top three platinum producers ended on Monday with no breakthrough in efforts to end a strike that has hit half of global output of the precious metal.
* Asian shares were pinned near five-month lows on Tuesday as turmoil in emerging markets and concerns about an economic slowdown in China took their toll.