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PRECIOUS-Gold struggles near 9-month low; platinum hits 5-year trough
October 1, 2014 / 3:58 AM / in 3 years

PRECIOUS-Gold struggles near 9-month low; platinum hits 5-year trough

* Gold close to key $1,200-an-ounce level
    * Dollar index holds at 4-year highs
    * Platinum drops 1 pct, silver at multi-year lows

 (Updates prices)
    By A. Ananthalakshmi
    SINGAPORE, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Gold extended losses on
Wednesday to trade near a nine-month low and looked likely to
break below the key $1,200-an-ounce level, clobbered by a
stronger dollar and lack of support from top buyer China. 
    With the dollar at a four-year peak against a basket of
major currencies, other precious metals also took a hit.
Platinum tumbled to a five-year low, while silver retained sharp
overnight losses to trade at its lowest since March 2010.
    A stronger U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated precious
metals more expensive for holders of other currencies. Worries
about an interest rate rise in the United States have also hurt
gold, a non-interest-bearing asset. 
    "As long as the dollar stays strong, the path for gold is
likely lower," HSBC analysts said in a note. "Gold continues to
dance above $1,200 but may fall below that level, should the
dollar rally continue."
    Spot gold slipped 0.2 percent to $1,205.90 an ounce
by 0623 GMT, falling for the fourth straight session. It went as
low as $1,204.40 in the previous session, its lowest since early
    The metal slid 6 percent in September, its sharpest monthly
drop since June 2013, and also logged its first quarterly loss
of the year.
    Reflecting waning investor sentiment, holdings in SPDR Gold
Trust, the top gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 2.39
tonnes on Tuesday to 769.86 tonnes, the lowest since December
    Markets in top bullion buyer China are closed for a week
from Wednesday for the National Day holiday, weakening support
for gold during Asian trading hours and potentially accelerating
its fall below $1,200.
    Investors were also watching the political unrest in Hong
Kong for its impact on equities and possible safe-have bids for
    Thousands of pro-democracy protesters thronged the streets
of Hong Kong on Wednesday, ratcheting up pressure on the
pro-Beijing government. 
    Among other precious metals, platinum dropped more
than 1 percent to $1,272.60 an ounce, its lowest since October
2009. Silver held near a 4-1/2-year low of $16.83.
    Platinum and palladium have come under pressure due to weak
gold prices, a strong dollar and heavy speculative liquidation,
according to HSBC.    
    PRICES AT 0623 GMT
 Metal             Last      Change   Pct chg
 Spot gold           1205.9    -2.84     -0.23
 Spot silver          16.88    -0.06     -0.35
 Spot platinum      1277.24   -15.86     -1.23
 Spot palladium         769      0.1      0.01
 Comex gold          1206.3     -5.3     -0.44
 Comex silver         16.94   -0.117     -0.69
 Euro                1.2621                   
 DXY                 85.984                   
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most
 active months
 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Ed Davies and Alan

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