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PRECIOUS-Gold eases as vaccine rollouts expand; Fed meet eyed

    Dec 16 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched lower on Wednesday as
rapid progress in vaccine rollouts sparked hopes of a swift
economic revival, with investors keeping a close watch on
stimulus talks and the Federal Reserve's policy statement.
            
    FUNDAMENTALS
   * Spot gold       fell 0.1% to $1,852.01 per ounce by 0100
GMT after jumping 1.4% in the previous session. U.S. gold
futures        were little changed at $1,855.60.
   * Moderna Inc's          COVID-19 vaccine appears set for
regulatory authorisation in the United States this week, while
rollouts of the country's newly approved vaccine were expanded. 
            [                        ]  
   * Across the Atlantic, Europeans are set to start getting
coronavirus vaccines before the new year after the regional drug
regulator accelerated its approval process.              
   * Top U.S. congressional leaders agreed to meet again on
Tuesday evening after an initial round of talks, to try to
finalise a government funding bill and end a standoff on
coronavirus relief, aides said.             
   * The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates
pinned near zero and to signal where rates are headed in the
coming years at it's final policy meet of the year. The Fed's
policy statement is due at 1900 GMT.             
   * Many analysts also expect new guidance on how long the Fed
will keep up its massive bond-buying program. 
   * Gold is seen as a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement.    
   * Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.10% to 1,170.15 tonnes
on Tuesday.             
   * Silver        dropped 0.1% to $24.46 per ounce. Platinum
       fell 0.2% to $1,034.25 and palladium        was down by
0.1% at $2,315.09. 
    
    DATA AHEAD(GMT)
0900  Eurozone Dec. Flash Manufacturing PMI
0900  Eurozone Dec. Flash Services PMI
1330  U.S. NOV Retail Sales 
1445  U.S Dec. Flash Services PMI
1445  U.S Dec. Flash Manufacturing PMI      
1900  U.S. FOMC policy statement

 (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)
  
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