November 30, 2015 / 4:38 AM / 3 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold set for worst month in 2-1/2 years on U.S. rate hike view

* Gold dips towards near-six-year low
    * Metal down 7.5 percent for the month
    * Palladium down 20 pct, platinum 16 pct in November

 (Updates prices)
    By A. Ananthalakshmi
    SINGAPORE, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Gold extended losses on
Monday, dropping towards its lowest level in nearly six years,
and was poised to record its steepest monthly slide in 2-1/2
years on prospects of a U.S. interest rate hike this year.
    The precious metal has fallen out of favour as investors
position themselves for the first U.S. rate hike in nearly a
decade. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise rates at its
next policy meeting on Dec. 15-16. 
    Investors believe gold, as a non-interest-paying asset, will
take a hit to demand from higher rates as the dollar gains.
    Spot gold slipped 0.2 percent to $1,055.60 an ounce
by 0656 GMT. It had dropped to $1,052.70 earlier in the session,
within striking distance of $1,052.46, the lowest since February
2010, reached on Friday.
    "With the charts looking increasingly dicey as we head into
the Fed policy meeting, just as investment money continues to
flee the complex, the odds are good that the $1,000 level is the
next stop for (gold) prices," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward
    Bullion has lost about 7.5 percent of its value in November,
its biggest monthly dip since June 2013.
    Investors are pulling money out of bullion funds,
exacerbating the sell-off in gold.
    Assets in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's top gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, fell to their lowest since September 2008
on Friday. 
    The strength in the dollar also kept a lid on any increase
in gold prices.
    The dollar climbed to a fresh eight-month high against a
basket of major currencies on Monday. A robust greenback makes
dollar-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other
    "Continued dollar strength will likely put further downwards
pressure on the precious metals this week, potentially opening
up the 2010 low of $1,045," MKS Group trader Sam Laughlin said.
    Among other precious metals, silver was poised to log
its worst month in year, with a near-10 percent drop. 
    The platinum group metals were the worst performers in the
precious group in November. Palladium has lost 20 percent
for the month, while platinum has lost 16 percent - both
biggest monthly drops in four years. 
    For trading cues this week, bullion traders would be focused
on the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report due on Friday. A strong jobs
report could seal the case for a rate hike at the Fed's Dec.
15-16 meeting. 
    The European Central Bank policy meeting on Thursday will
also be eyed for impact on the currency markets. The ECB is
widely expected to ease policy. 

    PRICES AT 0656 GMT     
 Metal             Last      Change   Pct chg
 Spot gold           1055.6    -1.63     -0.15
 Spot silver          14.04    -0.01     -0.07
 Spot platinum       823.74    -7.26     -0.87
 Spot palladium       541.8     -6.2     -1.13
 Comex gold          1054.6     -1.6     -0.15
 Comex silver            14   -0.008     -0.06
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most
 active months
 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Christian
Schmollinger and Subhranshu Sahu)
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