PRECIOUS-Gold near 2-1/2-week low as safe-haven appeal dims

Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:02am IST

SINGAPORE, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Tuesday but
did not drift too far from a 2-1/2-week low hit in the previous
session as promising U.S. economic data fuelled optimism about
an economic recovery, driving investors away from safe-haven
assets such as bullion.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent to $1,656.91 an
ounce by 0010 GMT, after four consecutive sessions of losses. It
fell to $1,651.93 on Monday, its lowest since Jan. 9.
    * U.S. gold also rose 0.2 percent, to $1,656.20.
    * Rating agency Fitch scaled back the chance it will strip
the United States of its AAA status, saying a recent deal on the
country's debt limit removed the near term risk of a cut, but
warned that the danger to the U.S. rating is not over yet.
 
    * Anglo American Platinum, South Africa and labour
unions have agreed to postpone a restructuring exercise that
could lead to 14,000 job cuts to allow for more talks. The news
sent spot platinum down 1.9 percent on Monday, its
sharpest daily decline in more than a month. The metal stood at
$1,664, up 0.3 percent from the previous close. 
    * Investors are waiting for the Federal Reserve's policy
meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the central bank's
attitude towards its ultra-loose monetary policy, as the economy
appears to gain traction. Most economists expect the Fed to
retain its easing stance. 
    * A gauge of U.S. business investment plans improved in
December, a sign companies were betting the economy will pick up
despite fears over tighter fiscal policy. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * The S&P 500 eased slightly on Monday after an eight-day
run of gains, while the Nasdaq edged higher as Apple shares
rebounded. 
    * Sterling took the spotlight on Tuesday, though for all the
wrong reasons, as a dour economic background and persistent
rumours of a possible credit downgrade dragged the British
currency to a 13-month trough on the euro and a five-month low
on the dollar. 
    * U.S. Treasury yields rose for a third session on Monday
after a gauge of planned U.S. business spending rose in
December, fuelling some expectations economic growth may be
picking up enough that the Federal Reserve may mull pulling back
on economic stimulus. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
 0530  India     Repo rate                                       
 0700  Germany   GFK consumer sentiment     Feb
 0745  France    Consumer confidence        Jan
 1245  U.S.      ICSC chain stores yy       Weekly               
 1400  U.S.      CaseShiller 20 mm nsa      Nov                 
 1400  U.S.      CaseShiller 20 yy          Nov                  
 1500  U.S.      Consumer confidence        Jan                   
       U.S.      FOMC begins two-day meeting
    
    PRICES
     Precious metals prices 0010 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1656.91    2.57   +0.16     -1.05
  Spot Silver        30.92    0.10   +0.32      2.11
  Spot Platinum    1664.00    5.01   +0.30      8.40
  Spot Palladium    736.00    0.28   +0.04      6.36
  COMEX GOLD FEB3  1656.20    3.30   +0.20     -1.17         1436
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  30.94    0.16   +0.52      2.35          560
  Euro/Dollar       1.3445
  Dollar/Yen         90.52
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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