PRECIOUS-Gold edges up but economic recovery hopes limit gains
* Platinum rises to near 4-mth high; palladium rises to 17-month peak * Spot gold neutral in $1,657.54-$1,681.70/oz - technicals * Coming up: U.S. factory orders, Dec; 1500 GMT (Adds details, comments; updates prices) By Rujun Shen SINGAPORE, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Gold ticked up on Monday but failed to climb above a recent narrow trading range as mostly upbeat U.S. data took some shine off the precious metal, which withers when economic recovery gains traction. While U.S. non-farm payrolls rose by a modest 157,000 in January, job gains in the two previous months were revised up by 127,000. The U.S. manufacturing sector hit nine-month highs in January and U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected. Recent upbeat economic data from key economies suggested a brighter outlook, which dulls gold's safe-haven appeal and weakens the case for prolonged monetary stimulus, cutting gold's draw as an inflation hedge. Platinum and palladium, however, have benefited due to their industrial application. "Investors remain fairly optimistic in the U.S. recovery, which makes gold less attractive, even though recent data is rather a mixed bag," said Chen Min, an analyst at Jinrui Futures in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. "Unless we see surprisingly good news for gold, it will be trapped in a narrow range of roughly $1,660 and $1,680 an ounce." Trading interest in the Chinese market is expected to wind down this week, as China approaches a week-long Lunar New Year holiday starting this Saturday, Chen added. Spot gold inched up 0.3 percent to $1,670.65 an ounce by 0709 GMT. U.S. gold was little changed at $1,671.40. The benchmark gold on Tokyo Commodity Exchange hit a record high of 5,000 yen a gram, boosted by a weak yen on expectations that the Bank of Japan will continue loosening its monetary policy. PLATINUM, PALLADIUM RISE TO MULTI-MONTH HIGHS Spot platinum rose as much as 1.5 percent to $1,705.25, its highest in nearly four months. Spot palladium gained as much as 0.7 percent to $759.75, its loftiest level since September, 2011. "Palladium and platinum will likely do better on account of stronger automobile sales," said Ed Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone, in a research note. "But of the two, we think palladium will likely outperform platinum given that it is more sensitive to the stronger U.S. and Chinese automobile markets as opposed to platinum, which is used more in the thoroughly depressed diesel-centric European catalytic converter markets." Platinum has outperformed the rest of the complex with a nearly 11 percent gain so far this year, followed by a 9 percent rise in palladium. Gold is down 0.3 percent, being the only precious metal in the red, after a 12-year winning streak. Asia's physical gold market saw light trading volume as the rangebound prices sapped interest from market participants. "We see some light buying from Indonesia, but Thailand is quiet," said a Singapore-based dealer. "Everyone is waiting for a fresh catalyst and a clear direction." Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, were unchanged at 1,328.092 tonnes for the fourth consecutive session. The fund recorded an outflow of 22.728 tonnes in January, its biggest monthly outflow since last July. Precious metals prices 0709 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1670.65 4.11 +0.25 -0.23 Spot Silver 31.78 -0.02 -0.06 4.95 Spot Platinum 1699.50 19.01 +1.13 10.72 Spot Palladium 756.00 1.82 +0.24 9.25 COMEX GOLD APR3 1671.40 0.80 +0.05 -0.26 15813 COMEX SILVER MAR3 31.79 -0.17 -0.53 5.16 3507 Euro/Dollar 1.3625 Dollar/Yen 92.59 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months (Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Muralikumar Anantharaman)
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DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.
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