* U.S. 4th-qtr GDP down 0.1 pct, boosts gold buying
* Fed says economic growth stalled, pullback likely
* U.S. silver coins rise to all-time monthly high in January
* Coming up: U.S. personal income, Core PCE index Thursday
By Frank Tang
NEW YORK, Jan 30 Gold rose on Wednesday after
data showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the
fourth quarter, and stayed higher as the Federal Reserve left in
place its bond-buying stimulus plan.
The metal's inflation-hedge appeal received a boost after
the Fed in its January policy statement repeated a pledge to
keep buying securities until the outlook for employment
The U.S. central bank also said that economic growth had
stalled but indicated the pullback was likely temporary.
Gold was also bolstered by hopes that the Fed would keep its
monetary policy loose for a long time, after the Commerce
Department said gross domestic product fell at a 0.1 percent
annual rate, its weakest performance since it emerged from
recession in 2009.
"The market had extended gains ahead of the Fed on the
unexpected GDP number," said Frank McGhee, head precious metals
trader at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC.
"Most of what's in the Fed statement has already been baked
into the price, and that put a market susceptible for a
correction back to the downside," McGhee said.
Spot gold was up 0.7 percent at $1,675.61 an ounce by
3:40 (2040 GMT), having risen as much as 1.1 percent to a
one-week high of $1,682.90 an ounce after the Fed Open Market
Committee (FOMC) statement.
U.S. COMEX gold futures for February delivery settled
up $19.10 at $1,679.90 an ounce, with trading volume about 25
percent above the 250-day average due to the February-April
rollover ahead of February's first-notice day Friday.
Gold appears to be lifted by resurgent safe-haven demand as
U.S. equities dropped after the surprise drop in the GDP number.
Silver rose 1.9 percent to $31.98 an ounce.
American Eagle silver coin sales in January surged to an
all-time monthly high as the U.S. Mint resumed sales after huge
demand triggered a brief suspension, while gold coins also
posted their best performance since July 2010.
NONFARM PAYROLLS EYED
In the physical market, gold was supported after a top
Indian finance ministry official told Reuters the country does
not currently plan additional taxes or curbs on imports of gold
as it waits to see the impact of recent tax hikes.
India along with China are the world's largest consumers of
Investors are also waiting for non farm payrolls data on
Friday for a close look at the U.S. labor market. Economists
surveyed by Reuters expect steady hiring from employers in
Platinum group metals were mixed after their recent sharp
Platinum refiner specialist Johnson Matthey PLC
said it saw no upturn in Europe and Japan for its catalytic
converter business in the new calendar year, but the weaker
markets should be mitigated by slightly more promising prospects
in North America. It also cited lower sales in its precious
metals unit for the third quarter.
Platinum rose 0.4 percent to $1,681.74, while
palladium eased 0.2 percent at $745.72, having hit a fresh
16-month high of $757.22 an ounce.
3:40 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHUG CHUG VOLS
US Gold FEB 1679.90 19.10 1.2 1661.80 1683.20 43,370
US Silver MAR 32.177 0.993 3.2 31.250 32.300 53,289
US Plat APER 1689.30 10.40 0.6 1678.70 1693.60 8,832
US Pall MAR 751.40 1.65 0.2 744.90 760.50 8,128
Gold 1675.61 12.16 0.7 1663.35 1683.39
Silver 31.980 0.600 1.9 31.280 32.230
Platinum 1681.74 6.50 0.4 1681.50 1688.49
Palladium 745.72 -1.75 -0.2 745.27 757.22
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D VGA 250D VGA CURRENT CHUG
US Gold 228,845 163,437 171,939 13.66 0.19
US Silver 59,134 42,928 51,835 20.27 -1.54
US Platinum 8,988 19,419 10,966 16.44 -0.01
US Palladium 8,852 3,570 4,668