PRECIOUS-Gold heads for weekly loss as economic uncertainty weighs

Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:52am IST

SINGAPORE, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Gold traded flat on Friday, on
course for a weekly loss of nearly 1 percent as festering
uncertainty on the outlook for the global economy dragged on
prices.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was flat at $1,715.19 an ounce by 0057
GMT, on track for a 0.9 percent weekly loss, after prices
climbed more than 3 percent the week before.
    * U.S. gold was little changed at $1,715.40.
    * The CME Group cut initial margins on COMEX gold
futures by 18.5 percent to $7,425 per contract, but left
maintenance margins for the metal unchanged. 
    * CME also trimmed maintenance margins on COMEX silver to
$11,000 per contract from $12,500, and lowered initial margins
to $12,100 from $16,875.
    * Prominent hedge fund manager John Paulson kept a major
stake in gold in the third quarter of 2012, a confidence boost
to bullion's appeal as a hedge against economic uncertainty, a
U.S. regulatory filing showed on Thursday. 
    * Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose to 1,339.616 tonnes by
Nov. 15, just a touch off the record high of $1,340.521 tonnes
hit in October. 
    * The euro zone debt crisis dragged the bloc into its second
recession since 2009 in the third quarter despite modest growth
in Germany and France, data showed on Thursday. 
    * The looming U.S. "fiscal cliff" -- tax hikes and spending
cuts that will kick in early next year if the Congress fails to
avert it -- keeps investors on their toes as it could push the
U.S. economy back into recession. 
    * Superstorm Sandy drove a surge in new claims for U.S.
jobless benefits last week and hurt factory activity in the
mid-Atlantic region in November, signs it could deal a
substantial blow to economic growth in the fourth quarter.
 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    MARKET NEWS
    * U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday, although
retailer Wal-Mart tumbled after disappointing sales. 
    * The yen steadied in early Asian trade on Friday after
plunging to a six-and-a-half month low against the dollar in the
previous session on expectations a new Japanese government would
put pressure on the Bank of Japan to ease further. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS
 0900 Euro zone   Current account balance Sep        
 0900 Italy       Trade balance Sep 
 1000 Euro zone   Eurostat trade Sep 
 1415 U.S.        Industrial production Oct         
 
    
    PRICES
    
      Precious metals prices 0057 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1715.19    0.00   +0.00      9.68
  Spot Silver        32.58   -0.01   -0.03     17.66
  Spot Platinum    1562.74   -6.50   -0.41     12.19
  Spot Palladium    628.22   -1.00   -0.16     -3.72
  COMEX GOLD DEC2  1715.40    1.60   +0.09      9.48         2762
  COMEX SILVER DEC2  32.59   -0.09   -0.27     16.73          523
  Euro/Dollar       1.2771
  Dollar/Yen         81.15
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
    

 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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