PRECIOUS-Gold languishes near 2-week low on recovery optimism

Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:39am IST

SINGAPORE, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Gold traded little changed on
Monday, struggling to break away from a two-week low hit in the
previous session, as an improving global economic outlook
dampened bullion's safe-haven appeal.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was flat at $1,658.45 an ounce by 0046
GMT, after dropping 1.5 percent last week -- its sharpest weekly
loss in a month.
    * U.S. gold traded little changed at $1,657.90.
    * Spot palladium rose to $740.25 an ounce, its
highest since September, 2011. 
    * Banks will repay more than 130 billion euros of crisis
loans to the European Central Bank next week, handing more cash
back early than expected in a sign at least parts of the
financial system are returning to health. 
    * But international bankers and finance ministers warned
that Europe's crisis was not over even though the euro currency
is now stabilised, saying it would take years to overcome
economic malaise and mass unemployment in the region.
 
    * Iraq cut its gold holdings by a quarter to 29.9 tonnes in
November, reversing some of the country's recent efforts to
bolster its reserves, data from the International Monetary Fund
showed on Friday. 
    * Hedge funds and money managers raised their net long bets
in U.S. futures and options of gold and silver in the week ended
Jan. 22, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
showed. 
    * Net length in platinum rose to a record high
of 38,097 contracts, and net length in palladium 
climbed for a second week straight to an all-time high of 18,972
contracts, CFTC data also showed.
    * German business morale improved for a third consecutive
month in January to its highest in more than six months, more
evidence that Europe's largest economy is gathering
pace. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed above 1,500 for the
first time in more than five years on Friday as strong U.S.
earnings reports, including Procter & Gamble's, helped the
benchmark extend its rally to eight days. 
    * The euro held near Friday's 11-month high versus the
dollar. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
 0900 Italy      Consumer confidence                         
 0900 Euro zone  Money M3 growth                             
 1330 U.S        Durable goods orders                        
 1330 U.S.       Midwest Manufacturing Index                 
 1500 U.S.       Pending home sales                          
 1530 U.S.       Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index              
       
    PRICES
   
 Precious metals prices 0046 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1658.45   -0.04   -0.00     -0.96
  Spot Silver        31.18    0.12   +0.39      2.97
  Spot Platinum    1690.25    9.25   +0.55     10.11
  Spot Palladium    739.75    2.25   +0.31      6.90
  COMEX GOLD FEB3  1657.90    1.30   +0.08     -1.07         3444
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  31.22    0.01   +0.03      3.26          696
  Euro/Dollar       1.3461
  Dollar/Yen         91.09
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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