SINGAPORE, June 20 - Gold fell for a fourth straight session on Thursday to its lowest in a month after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy was recovering strongly enough for the central bank to slow the pace of bond purchases later this year.
* Spot gold fell 0.4 percent to $1,344.9 an ounce by 0013 GMT, after falling 1.2 percent on Wednesday. Bullion, which is down over 3 percent for the week, touched a low of $1,342.74 earlier in the session.
* U.S. gold fell over 2 percent to $1344.10.
* Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's confirmation that the bank is getting closer to pulling back on its $85 billion in monthly asset purchases confirmed investor fears, sending stocks and bonds sharply lower and pushing benchmark Treasury yields to a 15-month high.
* Bernanke said the central bank will continue to reduce the pace of purchases in measured steps through the first half of next year, ending purchases around mid-year if the U.S. economy continued to show strength.
* The bond purchases have helped support gold prices this year even as investors dumped bullion, which is typically seen as a hedge against inflation, in favour of stocks.
* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell below 1,000 tonnes for the first time in 4 years.
* SPDR holdings fell 0.2 percent to 999.56 tonnes on Wednesday from 1,001.66 tonnes on Tuesday, the lowest since February 2009.
* Russian gold production rose by 8.3 percent in the first four months of 2013 compared to the same period of last year, the Gold Industrialists' Union said on Wednesday.
* Japan's Nikkei shares opened down 1 percent on Thursday, while the U.S. dollar held firm.
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Precious metals prices 0013 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume
Spot Gold 1344.90 -5.79 -0.43 -19.69
Spot Silver 21.19 -0.12 -0.56 -30.02
Spot Platinum 1404.24 -5.76 -0.41 -8.52
Spot Palladium 686.72 -7.28 -1.05 -0.76
COMEX GOLD AUG3 1344.10 -29.90 -2.18 -19.79 7537
COMEX SILVER JUL3 --
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months