PRECIOUS-Gold hits 1-week high on U.S. stimulus bets, Fed decision eyed

 (Updates prices)
    * Moderna COVID-19 vaccine set for U.S. approval this week 
    * U.S Fed policy statement due at 1900 GMT
    * Economic recovery hopes to keep platinum supported -
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
    * in an external browser

    By Nakul Iyer
    Dec 16 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose to a one-week high on
Wednesday, building on the previous session's rally on growing
prospects of further U.S. stimulus, while investors awaited the
Federal Reserve's policy decision.
    Spot gold        rose 0.2% to $1,856.90 per ounce by 0704
GMT, after hitting its highest since Dec. 9 at $1,858.26. U.S.
gold futures        rose 0.3% to $1,861.00.
    "The markets are just craving anything in terms of a U.S.
stimulus package and news that some bipartisanship emerged last
night marginally lifted inflation expectations, benefiting
gold," said IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda.
    U.S. congressional leaders reported substantial progress on
Tuesday after two meetings of top Democrats and Republicans to
end a months-long standoff on coronavirus relief.             
    Investors now await the Fed's final policy statement of the
year, due at 1900 GMT, where it is expected to keep interest
rates pinned near zero.             
    Analysts also expect new guidance on how long the Fed will
keep up its massive bond-buying programme. 
    "The unlikely magic ingredient that would see gold prices
fly would be if the Fed potentially entertains a yield curve
control programme to keep risk-free rates low," Rodda said.
    Keeping gold's gains in check, Moderna Inc's         
COVID-19 vaccine appears set for regulatory authorisation in the
United States this week, buoying Asian equities.
    Autocatalyst metal platinum        climbed 0.9% to
$2,338.05, having hit a more than one-week high of $1,045
earlier in the session.
    Expectations of an economic rebound next year should support
 platinum, which is largely an industrial metal, although there
has been a constant supply surplus in recent years, said Harshal
Barot, a senior research consultant for South Asia at Metals
    Silver        rose 1.2% to $24.78 an ounce and palladium
       gained 0.6% to $1,042.51. 

 (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V,
Subhranshu Sahu and Aditya Soni)