PRECIOUS-Gold hovers near 5-week high as Fed policy meeting looms

Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Joseph Radford

SINGAPORE, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Gold was hovering near five-week highs on Monday as traders bet the U.S. Federal Reserve would stick with its bullion-friendly stimulus measures at a policy meeting later this week.


* Spot gold had eased 0.3 percent to $1,348.44 an ounce by 0010 GMT, after posting a near 3-percent gain the week before. 

* Fed officials are unlikely to make any shift in monetary policy this week and will continue to buy back bonds at an $85 billion monthly rate as they wait for more evidence of how badly Washington's budget battle has hurt the U.S. economy.

* The central bank's policy-setting committee is to release a statement on its decision on Wednesday, at the end of its two-day meeting.

* Turkey and Kazakhstan raised their gold holdings in September, while Russia's bullion reserves eased, according to the International Monetary Fund. 

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 4.50 tonnes to 872.02 tonnes on Friday.