Gold holds steady near $1,300

SINGAPORE Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:22pm IST

Thai baht banknotes are seen next to gold offered for sale in a gold shop in Bangkok's Chinatown April 19, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/Files

Thai baht banknotes are seen next to gold offered for sale in a gold shop in Bangkok's Chinatown April 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Damir Sagolj/Files

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Gold held steady just above $1,300 on Thursday as the metal's safe-haven appeal was boosted by weaker equities, but gains were limited by a second day of outflows from gold funds.

Spot gold was flat at $1,302.96 an ounce by 0721 GMT. Asian markets were in skittish mood on Thursday following a soft finish on Wall Street and amid simmering tensions over Ukraine.

The metal fell to a six-week low of $1,298.29 in the previous session, trading below the $1,300 level briefly before moving back up.

"The technical outlook for gold is bearish, and barring sudden changes in fundamentals, this technical bearishness is likely to prevail over even slightly more optimistic sentiments from the fund side," said Joyce Liu, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

Liu said the 15-mintue chart reveals potential for the gold price to break below $1,300 per ounce soon.

Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 1.80 tonnes to 816.97 tonnes on Wednesday after losing 2.70 tonnes in the previous session.

Bullion has been under pressure recently, after hitting a six-month high of $1,391.76 earlier this month.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen last week suggested that interest rates could rise in the first half of 2015, raising the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and sparking a sharp retracement in prices.

Physical demand from key consumer Asia has also been weak.

Among other precious metals, platinum rose 0.6 percent on worries over supply constraints.

South Africa's government mediator met with the striking Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union on Wednesday to restart talks aimed at ending a crippling platinum strike now entering its tenth week.

Palladium was also supported by geopolitical tensions in Russia - the world's biggest producer of the metal.

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Shri Navaratnam, Richard Pullin and Gopakumar Warrier)

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