Gold holds gains on concerns over US debt ceiling
Singapore: Gold held steady early on Thursday, maintaining gains made in the previous session as
uncertainty over the US debt ceiling prompted safe-haven buying of the metal.
* Spot gold was nearly flat, easing 0.06 percent to USD 1,332.14 an ounce by 0017 GMT, after gaining 0.8 percent in the previous session.
* US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew pleaded for quick action in the deeply divided Congress on raising the USD 16.7 trillion statutory limit on government borrowing, as he projected an Oct. 17 date when borrowing capacity would be nearly exhausted and only USD 30 billion would be left in his agency's checking account.
* Republican leaders in the House of Representatives notified members that a vote on raising the debt limit could come as early as Friday. Lawmakers also grappled with another potential crisis: federal agency shutdowns that could begin with the new fiscal year on Oct. 1 unless Congress comes up with emergency funds.
* Gold - seen as a safe haven and alternative investment - rose to a record USD 1,920 an ounce in September 2011, partly on fears over the first US debt ceiling crisis.
* US regulators on Wednesday closed a five-year investigation into alleged manipulation of the silver market, saying 7,000 staff hours of investigation produced no evidence of wrongdoing.
* Chile's Supreme Court on Wednesday confirmed a freeze on Barrick Gold Corp's suspended Pascua-Lama gold mine but the Toronto-based miner escaped having the project's environmental permit revoked.
* Indian customs cleared some of the imported gold that was lying at airports and meant for exports after processing, trade body officials said on Wednesday, a move that could restart shipments after a gap of more than two months.