Gold edged higher on Wednesday, hovering close to a one-month low, after the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank would discuss ending its bond purchases sooner.
* Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,775.85 per ounce by 0211 GMT, only $2 shy of Tuesday's last recorded price which was the lowest since Nov.4.
* U.S. gold futures was steady to $1,776.60.
* Powell said the Fed will discuss whether to end their bond purchases a few months earlier than previously anticipated in December and the word "transitory" is no longer the most accurate term for describing the nature of current inflation.
* Reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push government bond yields up, raising the opportunity cost of non-interest bearing gold.
* Powell's comments also helped strengthen the U.S. dollar, further weighing on gold as it increases the metal's cost to buyers holding other currencies.
* Fed officials are not happy with inflation above the central bank's 2% target and bringing actual inflation down will be important to keeping expectations anchored near the central bank's goal, Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida said.
* Bank of England policymaker Catherine Mann said on Tuesday that the new Omicron coronavirus variant could hurt consumer confidence, which would weaken economic recovery.
* The World Health Organization warned countries not to impose blanket travel bans over the new Omicron coronavirus variant, as governments and scientists try to determine how much protection current vaccines would offer against the strain.
* Spot silver fell 0.3% to $22.73 an ounce. Platinum gained 0.7% to $940.48, while palladium gained 1% to $1,756.19.
(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 0417; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))