PRECIOUS-Gold inches down, U.S. fiscal talks drag

Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:35am IST

SINGAPORE, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Gold gave up early gains and
slipped in thin pre-holiday trade on Monday after a setback in
U.S. talks to avoid a fiscal crisis prompted investors to stay
on the sidelines. 
     
      FUNDAMENTALS
    * Gold fell $1.90 an ounce to $1,654.19 -- within
sight of a four-month low of $1,635.09 struck last week. 
    * But gold remains set for a twelfth straight year of gains
on rock-bottom interest rates, concerns over the financial
stability of the euro zone and diversification into bullion by
central banks.
    * U.S. gold for February fell $4.80 an ounce to    
$1,655.30 an ounce.
    * Some U.S. lawmakers voiced concern on Sunday the country
would go over "the fiscal cliff" in nine days, triggering harsh
spending cuts and tax hikes, and some Republicans charged that
was President Barack Obama's goal. 
    * Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long position
in gold to their lowest level since the end of August in the
week to Dec. 18, according to the Commodity Futures Trading
Commission's Commitments of Traders report on Friday.
 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * Asian shares steadied in quiet trade on Monday after a
slump late last week, with markets cautious over whether the
United States can avoid a fiscal crisis. 
    * U.S. crude remained below $89 a barrel on Monday,
extending losses from Friday's 1.6 percent fall after Republican
lawmakers in the United States withheld support for a proposal
to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS
    No major data release is scheduled for Monday.
    
    PRICES
    
  Precious metals prices 0048 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1654.19   -1.90   -0.11      5.78
  Spot Silver        30.02    0.04   +0.13      8.41
  Spot Platinum    1538.00    3.75   +0.24     10.41
  Spot Palladium    679.49    2.99   +0.44      4.14
  COMEX GOLD FEB3  1655.30   -4.80   -0.29      5.65         1690
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  30.09   -0.12   -0.39      7.77          460
  Euro/Dollar       1.3171
  Dollar/Yen         84.43
 
 (Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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