PRECIOUS-Gold steady; U.S. fiscal uncertainty weighs

Mon Dec 3, 2012 6:22am IST

SINGAPORE, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Gold traded steady on Monday,
after posting its second consecutive monthly decline in
November, as uncertainty about the U.S. budget negotiations kept
investors on tenterhooks.
    But speculators raised their net length in gold for the
third straight week, and holdings of gold-backed exchange-traded
funds hit a record high, underscoring investors'
interest in the precious metal.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold edged up 0.1 percent to $1,716.81 an
ounce by 0033 GMT, after dropping a slight 0.3 percent in
November. U.S. gold was up 0.3 percent to $1,717.10.
    * President Barack Obama turned up the pressure in "fiscal
cliff" talks on Friday, hitting the road to drum up support for
his drive to raise taxes on the wealthy and warning Americans
that Republicans were offering them "a lump of coal" for
Christmas. 
    * Hedge funds and money managers raised bullish bets on gold
and silver futures for a third consecutive week as the U.S.
fiscal crisis triggered safe-haven buying, data from the U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. 
    * November sales of U.S. American Eagle gold coins are set
to be the strongest in 14 years as uncertainty surrounding the
U.S. fiscal crisis and the presidential election triggered
safe-haven buying, dealers said. 
    * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holding rose to a record high of
1,348.826 tonnes on Nov. 30. 
    * China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index
rose to a seven-month high of 50.6 in November from 50.2 in
October, confirming a trend toward recovering growth in the
world's second-largest economy. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * The euro suffered a bit of a setback on Monday in the wake
of Moody's downgrade of the euro zone rescue fund late last
week, but the Australian dollar fed off growing optimism about
the economic health of its biggest export market, China. 
    * The S&P 500 wrapped up its fifth positive month in the
last six on Friday, although it ended the day flat as
politicians remain at odds about how to avoid the so-called
fiscal cliff. 
       
    DATA/EVENTS
 0145 China     HSBC Mfg PMI Final Nov                  
 0500 India     HSBC Markit Mfg PMI Nov                 
 0500 U.S.      Total Vehicle Sales Nov                 
 0843 Italy     Markit/ADACI Mfg PMI Nov                
 0853 Germany   Markit/BME Mfg PMI Nov                  
 0858 Euro zone Markit Mfg PMI Nov                      
 1500 U.S.      ISM Manufacturing PMI Nov               
 1500 U.S.      Construction spending Oct              
 
    PRICES
 Precious metals prices 0033 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1716.81    1.92   +0.11      9.78
  Spot Silver        33.55    0.16   +0.48     21.16
  Spot Platinum    1599.00   -0.50   -0.03     14.79
  Spot Palladium    678.97    1.97   +0.29      4.06
  COMEX GOLD DEC2  1717.10    4.40   +0.26      9.59         2968
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  33.63    0.35   +1.05     20.47          852
  Euro/Dollar       1.2995
  Dollar/Yen         82.42
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months   
 
 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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