December 10, 2012 / 1:12 AM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady after US data; Europe worries support

SINGAPORE, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Gold was steady on Monday
above $1,700 an ounce, as a drop in the U.S. unemployment rate
did little to dampen the outlook for easy monetary policy, which
has supported sentiment in bullion.
    Fresh worries over the euro zone also remain supportive for
gold.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was little changed at $1,704.31 an ounce
by 0038 GMT, after falling 0.6 percent in the past week. 
    * U.S. gold also barely moved from the previous
close, standing at $1,704.20.
    * Hedge fund and money managers cut their bullish bets on
U.S. gold last week to the lowest level since late August, and
also reduced their silver longs, data from the U.S. Commodity
Futures Trading Commission showed.  
    * U.S. unemployment rate fell to a near four-year low of 7.7
percent in November, because many Americans gave up the hunt for
work, tempering the signal from the stronger-than-expected
payrolls growth and supporting expectations on continuously
loose monetary policy. 
    * The Federal Reserve will hold a policy meeting on Tuesday
and Wednesday. Many economists expect the central bank to
announce monthly bond purchases of $45 billion, signalling it
will continue to pump money into the economy during 2013.
  
    * Germany's central bank on Friday warned the euro zone's
biggest economy could slip into recession and Italian Prime
Minister Mario Monti said he intended to resign early.
  
    * Over the weekend, China reported that growth in its
factory output and retail sales jumped to eight-month highs in
November as consumer inflation bounced off 33-month lows in the
latest signal that its economy is snapping out of a protracted
slump. 
    * Holdings of gold-backed exchange-traded funds hit a record
high of 76.129 million ounces on Dec. 7, despite stagnant gold
prices in recent weeks.  
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * The Dow and the S&P 500 advanced modestly on Friday,
though another sell-off in Apple depressed technology shares and
kept the Nasdaq negative, overshadowing a sharply
better-than-expected jobs report. 
    * The euro came under pressure in Asia on Monday as the
prospect of a recession in Germany and renewed concerns about
Italy weighed on sentiment, while strong Chinese data helped
support the Australian dollar. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS
      China     Trade data             Nov           
      China     Commodity imports      Nov
 0700 Germany   Trade data             Oct           
 0745 France    Industrial output      Oct
 0930 Euro zone Sentix index           Dec
 1500 U.S.      Employment trend index Nov          
      
    PRICES
   
 Precious metals prices 0038 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1704.31    0.27   +0.02      8.99
  Spot Silver        33.10    0.11   +0.33     19.54
  Spot Platinum    1604.50    9.50   +0.60     15.18
  Spot Palladium    696.00    3.00   +0.43      6.67
  COMEX GOLD DEC2  1704.20   -1.30   -0.08      8.77         2616
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  33.19    0.06   +0.18     18.90          392
  Euro/Dollar       1.2906
  Dollar/Yen         82.53
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
  
    
    

 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Ed Davies)

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