CORRECTED-PRECIOUS-Gold lifted by US payrolls data, posts weekly gain

Sat Feb 2, 2013 3:58am IST

(Corrects asset figure in fifth paragraph to $263.9 billion
from $247 billion)
    * Gold trims gains after Fed official's upbeat outlook
    * India central bank to introduce gold-linked products
    * Turkish gold imports rise to 11.27 T in January
    * Coming up: U.S. factory orders Monday

    By Frank Tang
    NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Gold rose in unison with
equities and commodities on Friday, notching a weekly gain,
after U.S. nonfarm payrolls data showed modest job growth in
January.
    Bullion prices climbed after the Labor Department also said
U.S. job gains in the prior two months were bigger than
initially reported, supporting views the economy's sluggish
recovery was on track despite a surprise contraction in output
in the final three months of 2012. 
    Other data, showing improved U.S. factory activity and
better consumer confidence data, sent the Dow above 14,000
points for the first time since October 2007 and lifted gold and
industrial commodities, led by crude oil. 
    The decent payrolls data and signs of a recovering U.S.
economy, however, have dampened gold's investment case as a
hedge against further monetary stimulus by the Federal Reserve
and its safe-haven appeal, an analyst said.
    "As an investor, I really do struggle with gold because
along with any other commodities, gold does not have a yield, so
the actual investment case of holding it is shaky," said Frances
Hudson, global thematic strategist at Standard Life Investments,
who helps manage its $263.9 billion in assets.
    Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,668.54 an ounce by
2:54 p.m. EST (1954 GMT), retreating from an earlier high of
$1,681.70.
    The metal briefly turned lower in a knee-jerk sell-off after
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the U.S. economy is
on track for a better performance this year, which will put the
central bank in a position to slow or halt its massive
bond-buying program. 
    U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled up $8.60
an ounce at $1,670.60, with trading volume in line with its
250-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed. 
    Gold gained 0.6 percent this week, offsetting some of the
previous week's 1.5 percent loss. It was down slightly year to
date, however, as signs of improvement in the U.S. and euro zone
economies boosted investor appetite for other assets.
    Gold's link to stocks and industrial commodities has been
largely erratic over the past year.
    Earlier this week, data showing a surprise shrinkage in the
U.S. economy in the fourth quarter boosted bullion prices while
weighing down on equities.
    Spot silver was up 1.7 percent at $31.94 an ounce, as
the more volatile metal outperformed gold. 
    
    TECHNICALS, FUNDAMENTALS
    The market is digesting news that India's central bank plans
to introduce three to four gold-linked products in the next few
months, in an effort to bring 20,000 tonnes of gold held in
households into the banking system. 
    India is the largest importer of gold. 
    Meanwhile, Turkish gold imports rose to 11.27 tonnes in
January from 2.96 tonnes a year before. 
    Among platinum group metals, platinum was up 0.5
percent at $1,684.49 an ounce, while palladium was up 1.8
percent at $753.47 an ounce.
    CME Group, the largest U.S. operator of futures
exchanges, said it would add platinum and palladium options to
its Globex electronic platform beginning in late February in a
move to capitalize on growing investor interest in the metals.
 
 2:54 PM EST     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL
 US Gold APR   1670.60   8.60   0.5  1660.60 1683.00  161,971
 US Silver MAR  31.958  0.607   1.9   31.300  32.160   50,136
 US Plat APR   1687.70  12.30   0.7  1668.20 1693.80    9,324
 US Pall MAR    756.40  10.70   1.4   739.60  758.50    4,972
                                                              
 Gold          1668.54   5.55   0.3  1660.68 1681.70         
 Silver         31.940  0.530   1.7   31.330  32.130
 Platinum      1684.49   8.24   0.5  1671.50 1689.75
 Palladium      753.47  13.00   1.8   742.25  756.00
                                                              
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          30-D ATM VOLATILITY
                CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG
 US Gold        175,003   168,604   172,896     14.05    0.26
 US Silver       54,452    42,988    51,758     21.31   -0.45
 US Platinum      9,423    18,692    10,974     17.08    0.58
 US Palladium     5,290     3,765     4,696                  
                                                              
    

 (Additional reporting by Jan Harvey in London; Editing by Nick
Zieminski and Bob Burgdorfer)
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